WIEFF produced a very engaging event that enabled principal speaker and Islamic financial market luminary, Datuk Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, Chairman, Amanie Group,
to give insights both as pre-eminent Sharia’a Scholar and fintech investor.
Dr. Daud opened by considering the differences between fintech and digitalisation and the impact that fintech platforms and smart technology were making to improve transparency and enhance efficiency and accuracy of Islamic financial sector operations, including Sharia’a review processes.
Amongst a diverse range of Fintech related questions posed by participants, Dr. Daud responded to a question asking how new fintech would survive this crisis legacy, when major banks are now fully up to speed with digitalisation, Dr. Daud reflected on the need for Regulators to try to create balance between established banks and fintech startups and disruptors. Disruptive technology, he observed, needs to be seen as a good thing as it can increase efficiency and lower costs of doing banking for both start ups and the established sector.
DDCAP Managing Director, Stella Cox, picked up on Datuk Dr. Daud’s observations within her closing remarks and vote of thanks on behalf of WIEFF.
Referring to DDCAP Group’s own automated trading platform, she commented that the reasoning behind building ETHOS AFP™ was inspired by Sharia’a scholars wanting to bring increased transparency and create a document trail to the processes that supported wholesale liquidity management procedures in Islamic Finance. Over fifteen years ago DDCAP, via ETHOS AFP™ engaged with those scholars, initially from the UAE and thereafter expanding globally. DDCAP has its own Sharia’a Supervisory Board which recently conducted its first virtual Sharia’a AGM, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions on movement. This brought together members of the Supervisory Board from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and the UK through technology. ETHOS AFP™ as part of the Group’s fintech agenda is included within DDCAP Sharia’a Board’s own wider agenda, as is ESG. Members of the Board, along with advisors to DDCAP’s client banks and firms, are keen to be involved in ongoing platform developments. In fact certain members and external advisors are especially proactive, not only in overseeing review procedures but in testing new, automated services prior to launch.
Commenting on further remarks made by Dr. Daud and a response by Harris Irfan, Chair of the UK Islamic Fintech Panel, Ms. Cox endorsed their call to action to investors to explore and support emerging and early stage opportunities within Islamic fintech and Halaltech. Whereas institutional investors were active in later rounds, the impact of the pandemic was adding to the challenges that start ups and new businesses faced in raising early stage capital. She added that DDCAP had recently begun to invest in third party initiatives and referred to DDCAP’s recent, strategic investment in IslamicMarkets.com suggesting that, notwithstanding the challenges of the current situation, others were pending.