RIYADH: The global Islamic banking sector is set to be worth $4 trillion by 2026, driven primarily by Gulf Cooperation Council countries, according to recent data.
In their State of Fintech report, red_mad_robot, a digital enabler, highlighted that the Islamic banking sector saw a massive surge from 2018 to 2021, growing from $1.8 trillion to $2.8 trillion.
“The leading role in the development of Islamic banking belongs to the GCC countries. They account for 43 percent of global Islamic banking assets, followed by other countries in the Middle East and North Africa region at 40 percent. Meanwhile, 59 percent of total assets are controlled by just two jurisdictions — Iran, 37 percent, and Saudi Arabia, 22 percent,” the report stated.
Furthermore, the report highlighted that the Islamic fintech market witnessed significant growth, with estimated transactions reaching around $79 billion in 2021.
It is projected to grow at an average rate of 18 percent annually, potentially hitting $179 billion by 2026. Major players in this market include Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey, as well as the UAE, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Indonesia is at the forefront in terms of the number of Islamic fintech firms.
Promising areas for the sector’s digital evolution include crowdfunding, investment platforms, and robo-advisors. Additionally, there is a focus on payment services, digital banks, and smart contracts, as well as blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. The report also highlighted the significance of financial sector information security and insurtech.
Moreover, Asia is home to 42 of the top 100 Islamic banks. These banks account for 29 percent of the total assets of these leading institutions, highlighting the dynamic nature of the sector’s landscape across different regions.
Saudi Arabia’s Al-Rajhi Bank is distinguished as the leading Islamic bank in the world, showcasing the influence and strength of Islamic banking within the Kingdom.
Several factors are fueling the demand for Islamic banking services. These include the growth of the Muslim population, the digitization of the Islamic economy, and an increasing global demand for halal products.
On the supply side, the expansion of Islamic banking is influenced by national strategies, government regulation, and enhanced trade activities within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the report stated.
These elements collectively contribute to the growth and diversification of Islamic banking services, affirming its significance in the global financial landscape.