United Kingdom have taken a key interest in Islamic Banking and have undertaken greater initiative in cross border trade.
Malaysian and UK Islamic banks have agreed to undertake greater collaboration in cross-border Islamic liquidity management transactions.
The decision was made at the end of the Malaysian-UK Islamic Treasurers Workshop, which was held at the Westminster Conference Centre in London on.
The workshop, aimed at encouraging greater interaction between and harmonising business practices of Malaysian and UK Islamic banks, was attended by over 40 senior treasury officials from both countries. The workshop was hosted by the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), a UK government agency responsible for promoting international business. In February 2009, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the UKTI signed a memorandum of understanding to promote development of Islamic finance in both countries.
The workshop was part of a four-day business visit to London. Datin Zaimah Zakaria, Group Treasurer of RHB Banking Group who led the Malaysian delegation said, “This business visit is part of continuous efforts by Islamic banks in Malaysia to link Kuala Lumpur with other major international financial hubs. Before London, Malaysian Islamic banks have organised similar business visits to Hong Kong and Jakarta.” The visit was supported by BNM and facilitated by the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM).
Besides the workshop, the Malaysian delegation had 6 meetings with senior business leaders of major British financial institutions and UK-based Islamic banks to explore business opportunities and form potential alliances in tapping the huge business potential across Asia and the Middle East.
The delegation also met Sir Andrew Cahn, Chief Executive of UKTI and the UK’s regulatory body, the Financial Services Authority (FSA). In addition to these discussions, the delegation also held talks with the British Bankers Association (BBA) to look into the possibility of developing an international benchmark rate for Islamic finance.
Malaysian bankers and their UK counterparts are confident that cross-border business activities between Islamic banks in both countries will be further enhanced as a result of the visit.