UPBEAT MOOD: Lender seeks to capitalise on Malaysia’s
long-standing experience and expertise in the sector
MALAYSIA'S efforts to become an international Islamic finance centre have received a boost as the country's oldest bank, Standard Chartered Bank, (StanChart) is making Kuala Lumpur its global hub for Islamic consumer banking.
The bank's new global hub will be led by Wasim Saifi, the new chief executive officer (CEO) of Standard Chartered Saadiq Bhd (Saadiq Malaysia). Wasim is also StanChart global head of Islamic consumer banking.
StanChart Saadiq chairman Shayne Nelson said Malaysia had established itself as a leading global centre for Islamic finance, the world's fastest growing financial segment.
"And with Kuala Lumpur as our global hub for Islamic consumer banking, we look forward to capitalising on Malaysia's long-standing experience and expertise in Islamic banking and further contributing to the scale of Islamic finance activities in the country," he said in a statement.
StanChart Malaysia managing director and CEO Osman Morad said Malaysia was recognised as a centre of excellence in Islamic banking and a global leader for Islamic capital market.
"For a committed player like StanChart Saadiq, who has ambitious long-term plans in the Islamic finance sector not just in Malaysia, but also in Southeast Asia, Middle East, South Asia and Africa, it is important to have on-ground senior management presence to further drive business momentum across our footprint," he said.
Wasim and a new team of experts will be based at the bank's headquarters here to further drive business momentum in Malaysia, the bank's key market.
At the same time, they will continue to work with existing and new markets to build and strengthen the bank's Islamic banking services and products under the Saadiq franchise.
Mumbai-born Wasim rejoined StanChart last year as global head of Islamic consumer banking, where he was responsible for managing the growth of Islamic consumer banking business in key markets of Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East.
He had previously worked for 17 years at StanChart in various roles in Mumbai, Dubai and Colombo.
StanChart is the first international bank in Malaysia to offer Islamic banking products back in 1993. In 2008, Saadiq Malaysia was established as a full-fledged Islamic banking subsidiary and had launched several first to market Islamic products.