Whither Islamic banking?

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Islamic banking is visibly on the rise across the globe, supported by a growing clientele, both Muslim and non-Muslim, although it has yet to demonstrate that it is a viable alternative to conventional banking. Islamic banking is still under the shadow of conventional banking, not only with products that are strikingly similar to those offered by conventional banks, but also with conventional banks having a strong presence as stakeholders in the Islamic banking industry. Islamic banking is still in the early phase of a presumably long evolutionary process, apparently stuck in the initial phase of product differentiation. Islamic banks are competing with conventional banks rather than among themselves, which does not augur well for innovations and creativity, as it tends to keep them preoccupied with modifications of conventional products with Shari'ah compliance. Islamic banks have arrived at a new crossroads. They could either continue on the same path of what may be termed as ‘head-on competition’ with conventional banks or change their direction in favour of a ‘niche market’ strategy.
Islamic banking
Abdul Kareem, Mohamed Ariff. (2014). Whither Islamic banking? The World Economy, 37 (6), pp. 733-746.
Wiley Online Library

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