KUALA LUMPUR (March 21): The inability to access information and data on Islamic finance is seen as one of the key challenges faced by researchers in the field due to insufficient resources to update the industry and develop its growth further.
According to Monash University professor and consultant Prof Paresh Kumar Narayan said this was due to the lack of interest shown by the Islamic institutions in disclosing their information and data.
“They (Islamic institutions) need to give access to the data for us to do robust research. So the question is, unlike conventional finance, why are the Islamic financial institutions fearful (of disclosing information) or hiding their data?
“And if the Islamic financial institutions are not willing to provide the data, that in itself puts a question mark on the sustainability of Islamic finance,” he said during a panel discussion on “Reimagining Capitalism and the Role of Islamic Fnance at Maybank Islamic Bhd’s inaugural virtual Global Connect Forum on Monday (March 21).
Therefore, Paresh Kumar said one area that the Islamic finance practitioners can focus on is developing databases that are readily available because this would establish a research culture that talks about the robustness of the industry.
Concurring with him, Islamic Development Bank vice president finance and chief financial officer Dr Zamir Iqbal said the Islamic finance industry is at a stage where it is going through some sort of stagnation in terms of research.
“That is why people feel that there is nothing new coming from the industry.
“If you try to replicate some studies purely based on Islamic finance (but) you don’t have the available data, and even if you have the data, it is kind of contaminated or it sometimes do not serve that purpose,” he said.
The three-day global thought leadership virtual conference, themed “Driving Sustainable Impact Through Islamic Finance”, which started on Monday, aims to uncover the strategies for companies and organisations to adapt to the current and future challenges and empower them to take actions that can bring about positive long-term impacts.