Islamic finance has emerged as a fast-growing, prominent, alternative financial intermediation mechanism on the world financial stage. BIBF’s Centre for Islamic Finance (CFIF) was established in 1997 to assist in fostering the growth of the Islamic banking community in Bahrain, throughout the Middle East and in other traditional commercial banking communities. The Centre has a global footprint of having trained in more than 20 countries worldwide and has the most robust menu of training offerings in Islamic finance globally.
Drawing upon the organised support of the financial sector in Bahrain as a hub of Islamic finance, collaboration with major service institutions such as the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain, the Centre has gained access to industry experts worldwide to ensure that its courses and programmes – both professional and academic – are relevant, contemporary and practical.
The Centre’s Fortes
- Track record: Global Footprint.
Since its establishment, the Centre has an excellent international track record of having provided specialised Islamic finance training and education in more than 20 countries worldwide, some of which involving country level initiatives with the banking regulators such as Bank of Indonesia, The Central Bank of Senegal, Bank of Ghana, The Central Bank of Oman, and the National Bank of Kazakhstan.
A very unique strength of the Centre for Islamic finance is that it close engages with experts from the Islamic banking and finance industry in three aspects: delivery of courses, development of courses, and advisory. These individuals include seasoned industry practitioners, renowned Shari’ah scholars and highly experienced academicians who deliver specialized training
BIBF also has an extensive support function ensuring continuous success and efficient execution of the business. This includes the Marketing and Communication department, the IT department, the Quality Assurance department, and the administration department.
Moreover, BIBF has a strong impetus from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to support development of Islamic Finance in the region and is seen as a strategic contributor to CBB.
- Content: Breadth and Depth, Structure, Thought Leadership.
The Centre for Islamic finance has a very rigorous and robust training menu with over 50 different titles of varying levels (foundation, intermediate, advanced) and specializations that can be offered in both Arabic and English.
The structure of the Centre’s offerings is also synchronized with foremost global professional qualifications of the industry (CIMA and CISI) and aligned with the needs of the Islamic banking Industry in terms of highly qualified and specialised professionals.
Lastly, the Centre engages in conception and development of ground breaking-one of a kind courses and programmes that are non-existent in Islamic finance training and education.
- Quality: Accreditation, Affiliations and Collaboration.
The Centre for Islamic finance and BIBF as whole has an abundance of partners which it collaborates with, who are leading in the provision of quality education, training and professional development. BIBF is ranked “Outstanding” by the Qualifications and Quality Assurance Authority of Bahrain.
The Centre actively engages with Islamic finance industry supporting organizations such as AAOIFI, IIFM, and IFSB, in the development of courses and reviewing of material.
The Centre’s Services
BIBF’s Islamic finance services can be broadly divided into four categories:
- Professional and Academic Qualifications
BIBF’s professional and Academic qualifications are designed to assist individuals to benefit from a full spectrum of professional courses, leading to an award in Islamic Finance. We offer programmes to individuals who have little prior academic or Islamic Finance experience, but a wealth of practical experience. We also cater to individuals who are already working in the Islamic banking sector but want to further their career by attaining an Islamic finance-related qualification.
Our latest academic offering is a collaboration with UK based University of Bolton in offering an MBA in Islamic Finance with a pathway that leads from BIBF’s Advanced Diploma in Islamic Finance and Advanced Diploma in Islamic Commercial Jurisprudence.
- Expert Masterclasses
BIBF’s Expert Masterclasses are intermediate and advanced level courses that are delivered by leading Islamic Finance experts who are career practitioners or leading thinkers in Islamic Finance. We also collaborate with institutions that are prominent in Islamic finance, to offer their innovative expertise and knowledge to the local industry.
- Customised Training
BIBF provides customised and comprehensive human resource development programmes for Islamic financial institutions in the region. We conduct a thorough training needs assessment (TNA) to ascertain the needs of clients and recommend courses that suit their requirements. We also design training programmes that benefit from the collective capacity of BIBF, drawing expertise from other Learning Centres where necessary.
BIBF has competitively serviced the human resource development programmes of some of the largest and most prominent financial institutions in the Middle East, including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Islamic Development Bank, National Commercial Bank, Al Baraka Islamic Bank, Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain Islamic Bank, and BNP Paribas. We have also contributed to the growth of Islamic banking through centralised efforts initiated by the Central Banks in countries such as Indonesia, Senegal, Oman, Ghana and Kazakhstan.
- Research and Advisory Services
The Centre for Islamic Finance has access to a vast knowledge depository, from a knowledge perspective and drawn from its links with the financial industry. This knowledge base is used to provide relevant advisory services to our clients, including structuring Islamic transactions and providing access and knowledge to institutions looking to offer Islamic Financial Services. We also have access to a pool of prominent Shariah scholars who can provide certification of the structure’s compliance with the Shariah. BIBF has its own Islamic finance advisory board.
The Centre also acts as a research hub for Islamic Finance, and has a large database of financial reports for over 80 Islamic Banks in the world. We also produce policy research aimed at ensuring the sustainability and growth of the global Islamic Finance industry.
The Centre’s Latest Initiatives
- BIBF – AAOIFI e-learning Platform
The e-platform is the conversion of the AAOIFI standards into holistic e-learning system which enables borderless online delivery with special explanatory support that includes assessments, case studies, videos, interactive explanations using diagrams, graphs and animations, and fatwa related contents for each standard. The e-platform is an exclusive global partnership with AAOIFI.
- The Advanced Diploma in Islamic Finance – University of Bolton Masters Pathway
BIBF’s Centre for Islamic Finance together with the University of Bolton has recently established a pathway from the Advanced Diploma in Islamic Finance that will lead to an MBA in Islamic Finance degree from the University of Bolton. ADIF graduates will do 4 intensive Master level courses in the premises of the University of Bolton in the UK for a total period of 4 weeks, followed by a dissertation done long distance from Bahrain in order to attain the MBA degree. It is the most time and cost efficient Master level programme specialising in Islamic Finance in Bahrain with a guaranteed quality of UK standard education.
- Global Centre of Excellence in Islamic Risk Management
BIBF has established a Global Centre of Excellence in Islamic Risk Management. One of the efforts that has been executed in the last quarter of 2016 was the launch of the first of its kind Islamic Finance Risk Management Qualification in partnership with UK based Banking Treasury and Risk Management Institute.