LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwired - April 18, 2017) - Conventional banks may have been left reeling by 2016's numerous economic shocks, but Islamic Finance has continued to thrive over the past 12 months. A growing demand for Sharia-compliant services has seen the industry expand rapidly over the past decade, and the Islamic banking market is showing no signs of slowing down in 2017. As a wave of new Sharia-compliant competitors begin to flood the market, the World Finance Islamic Finance Awards honour the Islamic institutions staying ahead of the curve.
2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Islamic finance. Islamic banks are now expanding at an annual rate of 19.7 percent, far outpacing the growth of conventional banks. Indeed, Islamic banks' capital now stands at an impressive $3trn, with this figure expected to reach $4trn by the early 2020s. In the midst of global economic uncertainty, consumers are increasingly gravitating towards Islamic finance as a stable alternative to risk-prone conventional banking.
There are now more than 300 Islamic banks across the globe, with Sharia-compliant banks rapidly gaining popularity in non-Muslim majority countries. The UK, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and South Africa have all recently issued sukuks (Islamic bonds), while the US now boasts 25 exclusively Islamic banks. As traditional financial institutions come under pressure to diversify into popular Sharia-compliant services, established Islamic banks are looking to stay competitive through innovation.
According to a recent Ernst & Young (EY) survey, more than half of the world's Islamic banks are currently investing in digital banking initiatives, with pledges ranging from $5m to a staggering $20m. This digital drive will allow Islamic banks to effectively respond to the demands of their consumers, who have come to expect flexible, on-the-go mobile banking as standard. As Sharia-compliant banks look to grow their online presence, 2017 could well be the year Islamic finance goes digital.
In the latest issue of World Finance, we celebrate the brightest names in this flourishing financial sector. Together, our team of judges has found the very finest examples of innovation, adaptability and excellence in the industry, honouring the most deserving institutions in this year's World Finance Islamic Finance Awards.
To see the full list of this year's winners, pick up the latest issue of World Finance, available in print, on tablet and online now.
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