The Association of Sharia Scholars in Islamic Finance (ASSIF), a British-registered charity, is launching a self-regulating professional association that will not only develop training and professional conduct standards for gatekeepers of Islamic finance, but will address longstanding problem in the industry.

To form the association, ASSIF will have around 10-30 prominent scholars from the Arab world, Malaysia and Britain, who will serve as trustees and co-founders, Reuters has reported.

Some of the scholars include Bahrain’s Sheikh Nizam Yaquby, Syria’s Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah, Saudi Arabia’s Mohamed Ali Elgari, and Malaysia’s Mohamad Akram Laldin, who share close to 270 seats in Sharia boards around the world.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Islamic Economic Forum, ASSIF deputy president Mufti Abdul Kadir Barkatullah said that the new association aims to work with the industry’s existing bodies around the globe rather than replace them.

"ASSIF will help to organise advisory providers by a verifiable unified standard of sharia guidance," Barkatullah added.

"We expect professional code of conduct and continuous professional development (standards) to be issued by mid- February 2014.

"ASSIF will raise professional standards and assist towards excellence along with other industry standards such as lawyers and accountants," said Barkatullah.