AmBank Islamic is on the journey to embed the principles of value-based intermediation (VBI) into its business. While VBI shares similarities with concepts such as Ethical Finance and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), the key distinguishing factors are the:
- central position of Shariah in determining the Islamic bank’s underlying values, moral compass and priorities
- focus on the real economy
- incorporation of networking and cross-fertilisation to benefit the stakeholders of Islamic banks.
The adoption of VBI by AmBank Islamic is expected to result in better facilitation of entrepreneurship, community well-being, sustainable environment and economic growth, which are very much aligned with shareholders’ focus on sustainable and long term returns.
“The inherent principles of fairness and social responsibility which are intrinsically linked to being Shariah compliant, are poised to support the demand for value-based banking. Financial stability, sustainable ecosystem, efficient use of resources and innovation to create new market opportunity resonate with the increase in society’s consciousness and thus present an enormous opportunity for Islamic finance.”
CEO, AmBank Islamic Berhad
VBI is part of AmBank Group’s sustainability agenda. Out of AmBank Group’s 10 material sustainability matters, financial inclusion and responsible lending would be driven from the lens of VBI. To this end, AmBank Islamic has put in motion several initiatives in its quest to integrate VBI principles into its practices, conduct and offerings as it seeks new customers, market share and boost its bottom line.
VBI will be a game changer to drive Islamic finance industry to the next level of growth, while giving equal importance to social, ethical and environmental considerations towards sustainable value creation.Bank Negara Malaysia in collaboration with AmBank Islamic and a few Islamic banks have formed the VBI Community of Practitioners (COP). The collaboration has developed the strategies to promote the application of VBI practices which will lead to an improved suite of products and services offered by Islamic banks. With the adoption of VBI, Islamic banks will need to consider the impact of their activities and actions not only to financial consumers, but a wider range of stakeholders. These strategies are expected to be adopted and implemented based on each Islamic banks’ readiness.
Find out more by reading A Strategy Paper on VBI issued by BNM.