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Philippine central bank introduces new regulations for Islamic banks

The Philippine central bank issued regulations for the country's Islamic banks and Islamic banking units, covering the licensing framework on the establishment of Islamic lenders and the central bank's expectations on the Shariah governance framework concerning such banks.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Jan. 3 that it approved regulations that will implement legal provisions on the establishment of Islamic banks and Shariah compliance. The regulations are part of the BSP's aim to create an enabling environment that will allow Islamic banks to operate alongside conventional banks and to provide a comprehensive set of standards to encourage investor interest in Islamic banking and finance.

Under the regulations, conventional banks, whether local or foreign, will be allowed to open an Islamic banking unit or to establish a subsidiary Islamic bank. Islamic banks will be responsible for their compliance with Shariah principles.