Paving The Way For Sustainable Islamic Finance Onto The Global Frontier


KUALA LUMPUR, 9 August 2021 – In support of the Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) agenda in financial services, the Chartered Institutes of Islamic Finance’s (CIIF) recently held a live webinar titled “ESG and Islamic Finance” to discuss opportunities and challenges faced by Islamic Financial Institutions in implementing ESG. The live webinar is part of the many webinar series conducted during the lockdown, #CIIFTalks, which feature figures that incorporate Malaysia as well as well-known industry professionals in Islamic finance.  

The recent Islamic finance and ESG webinar brought together Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff, CEO of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad, Mohd Muazzam Mohamed, CEO of Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, Tunku Alizakri Raja Muhammad Alias, Chairman of  Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad together with Dr. Azura Othman, CEO of the CIIF as panellists. The session was moderated by Nik Shahrizal Sulaiman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, who himself is a well-known industry figure. The session was well attended by participants from within and outside the Islamic finance industry.

Amongst the topics discussed are the aspects of ESG, what it entails and how it is linked to Islamic finance. The session acknowledged the increased awareness, especially among the new generation, and the growing demand for ESG. It was also unanimously agreed that the adoption of ESG will bring immense benefits to consumers and investors, and not to mention, to the preservation of the environment.  

Islamic Financial Institutions in Malaysia are ahead of the curve when it comes to integrating ESG with the introduction of the Value-Based Intermediation (VBI) initiative by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2017. True to the current situation, many concepts and insights were shared during the session on methods to elevate the industry while remaining resilient during the pandemic. Attendees received in-depth perspectives on the opportunities that can bring Malaysia forward in the financial world with the adoption of ESG and the importance of data. The presence of prominent industry players from banks and other organization are extremely impactful in conveying insights while invoking ideas amongst the attendees on possibilities that can be attained.

In line with the Institution’s key objectives, the CIIF continues to collaborate with notable organizations in developing industry-relevant programmes and channels through which members and the public can gain access to the knowledge and inventory of tools in acquiring the necessary capabilities that the industry demands. The #CIIFTalks live webinar series is one of the many initiatives that the CIIF has implemented in procuring this objective.

“The CIIF has always been exceptionally receptive to the changes around the finance industry as we continue to diligently make every effort possible in elevating the quality of our members and their recognition in the industry. In addition to these efforts, it is crucial that the public is well-informed about the differences between Islamic Finance and conventional finance. Awareness on ESG with supporting data will be emphasized when educating our members in hopes of ensuring a sustainable Islamic finance industry. The key takeaways from the talk will play a key role in the decision-making process for strategies moving forward for all organisations involved including the CIIF. It has been a humbling and heartfelt honour to have these distinguished panellists speak on our platform and do stay tuned for announcements on our other programmes,” said Dr. Azura Othman. 

The #CIIF.Talks live webinar series will continue in the coming months as it serves to be a platform for CIIF members and members of the public to gain insights, hear thought-provoking viewpoints, and actively engage with various figureheads within the broader Islamic finance ecosystem. The CIIF strongly believes that active discussions of views and ideas such as these will catalyse the development of Islamic Finance talents in meeting the ever-changing demands of the Islamic Finance Industry as Malaysia leads it to a sustainable future.