Research by consulting firm AT Kearney predicts annual growth in the Gulf Islamic banking sector of 15 to 20 per cent
Dirk Buchta, managing director of AT Kearney (UAE), told Mena Financial Network: "Although Islamic financial institutions still represent a minority in the Gulf countries, Shariah-compliant banks are poised to pose a serious threat to conventional financial institutions in the chase for market share."
In Saudi Arabia, the National Commercial Bank (NCB) is set to create an Islamic Banking Development Group offering services nationally and across the region.
Abdulkareem Abu AlNasr, the NCB Chief Executive Officer, said: "The Islamic Banking Development Group was formed after the bank succeeded in converting all its branches to Islamic banking mechanisms. The development of traditional products and services and converting those to Islamic products and services as well as innovating alternative products has made the bank an example for many local and international banks to study and imitate."