Afghanistan enlists faith-based banks to aid financial inclusion

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

By Bernardo Vizcaino

Afghanistan hopes its first Islamic bank will attract more players to its fledgling banking sector and help improve access to financial services in the country, a central bank official said on Monday.

Da Afghanistan Bank, the country’s central bank, granted its first Islamic license last month and is working on additional regulations to support banking that complies with principles such as bans on gambling and alcohol.

The Islamic Bank of Afghanistan (IBA), previously known as Bakhtar Bank, is now developing wealth management products and new digital banking services.

Financial inclusion is a challenge in developing economies and can be due to many factors, such as religion in Afghanistan, said Abdullah Ludeen, head of the Islamic banking division at Da Afghanistan Bank.

Photo courtesy of TheUjulala.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

financial inclusion, Islamic finance