JEDDAH, 29th February, 2016 (WAM) — The Islamic Research and Training Institute, IRTI, a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, and the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions, CIBAFI, the global umbrella of Islamic financial institutions, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, for a joint project to establish the first-of-its kind Islamic financial industry data repository.

The online repository, to be named the Islamic Financial Industry Intelligence, IFII, is aiming to be a one-stop shop for comprehensive and reliable Islamic financial and non-financial data and information. IRTI Director-General, Professor Mohamed Azmi Omar, and CIBAFI Secretary-General, Abdelilah Belatik, jointly signed the agreement on behalf of the two institutions, at the IDB Group Headquarters in Jeddah.

IFII would comprise several integrated databases covering all the components of the Islamic finance industry including banking, insurance, and social finance. In the first phase, the system will take off with a database of Islamic banking information.

IRTI and CIBAFI resolved to cooperate on this project in order to fill a vacuum created by the absence of co-located timely, reliable and comprehensive data on all aspects of Islamic finance.

IFII is expected to be a vital resource for Islamic financial institutions, policymakers, regulatory authorities, industry professionals, academics, scholars, and other stakeholders. IFII will come with state-of-the-art built-in features to allow for report generation, data visualisation, and download of financial datasets.

Prof. Omar said, “This repository would make it easy for industry operators to get credible information to do their businesses, while academics and students would easily get the information they need to produce high-quality research in their efforts of advancing knowledge in Islamic economics, banking and finance.”

Belatik, the Secretary-General of CIBAFI, said, “The partnership with IRTI will strengthen CIBAFI’s role as the voice of the industry and advocate for the Islamic financial services industry with other international organisations, international standard-setting organisations and regulatory and supervisory authorities, as well as support its strategic objectives. IFII would be of immense benefit to CIBAFI and its members as well as industry stakeholders at large.”