The Council of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has resolved to approve the adoption of two new Standards in its 23rd Meeting in Doha, Qatar, yesterday. The two documents are:

1.IFSB-14: Standard on Risk Management for Tak?ful (Islamic Insurance) Undertakings; and
2.IFSB-15: Standard on Revised Capital Adequacy for Institutions offering Islamic Financial Services (other than Tak?ful Institutions and Islamic Collective Investment Schemes).

The 23rd Meeting of the IFSB Council was hosted and chaired by H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Saoud Al-Thani, Governor, Qatar Central Bank and attended by the President of the Islamic Development Bank, 17 governors and governors’ representatives from among the members of the Council and four Full members representatives of the IFSB.

IFSB-14: Standard on Risk Management for Tak?ful (Islamic Insurance) Undertakings

IFSB-14 aims to provide guidance to the industry in understanding the types of risks that the Tak?ful industry is exposed to. The current global market conditions necessitate the relevant regulatory and supervisory authorities to continue strengthening the industry. With the best practices set forth by this Standard, it provides a Shar?`ah-compliant mechanism in the development of a risk management framework for Tak?ful undertakings.

Taking into consideration the specificities of Islamic finance, IFSB-14 highlights the key risks which are specific to Tak?ful undertakings, i.e. Shar?`ah non-compliance risk, risks arising from segregation of funds, and risks relating to the use of Re-Tak?ful. The document further illustrates the responsibilities and functions of key management functions in ascertaining the effectiveness of the risk management framework. It is hoped that the Standard will provide a guideline to all the industry stakeholders in creating a safe and prudent environment for the growth, sustainability and development of the Tak?ful industry.

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IFSB-15: Standard on Revised Capital Adequacy for Institutions offering Islamic Financial Services (other than Tak?ful Institutions and Islamic Collective Investment Schemes) (IIFS)

IFSB-15 is a revised and enhanced version of two previous IFSB standards on capital adequacy, namely IFSB-2: Capital Adequacy Standard for IIFS (published in 2005) and IFSB-7: Capital Adequacy Requirements for Suk?k, Securitisations and Real Estate Investments (published in 2009). IFSB-15 also adopts key Basel III proposals on capital components and macroprudential tools for the IIFS.

This Standard aims to assist the implementation of a capital adequacy framework that will ensure effective coverage of risk exposures of the IIFS and allocation of appropriate capital to cover these risks, based predominantly on the Standardised Approach. In order to achieve these objectives, IFSB-15 provides guidance on the features and criteria for high-quality regulatory capital components, including Additional Tier and Tier 2, which comply with Shar?`ah rules and principles. Similarly, IFSB-15 provides new guidance on macroprudential tools, such as capital buffers, leverage ratio and domestic systemically important banks, which will facilitate supervisory authorities in achieving the goal of protecting the banking system and the real economy from system-wide shocks.

IFSB-15 also provides more elaborate guidance on capital adequacy treatment of various risk exposures related to Shar?`ah-compliant products and services, including Suk?k, securitisation and real estate. The new Standard has revised and consolidated earlier guidance on the treatment of profit sharing modes of financing, as well as expanded guidance on credit risk mitigation techniques as well as calculation of capital charge for various approaches of market and operational risks. These revisions endeavour to enhance the loss absorption capacity of the IIFS and provide a more comprehensive framework for the application of risk weights aligned closely to the underlying risk exposures.

Supervisory authorities among the IFSB member countries are expected to start the implementation of IFSB-15 in their respective jurisdictions by January 2015.

Both IFSB-14 and IFSB-15 will be available on the IFSB website, in due course.