Brunei Darussalam Financial Services

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Chapter | Islamic Financial Services from The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2013

Islamic services have long been a part of the financial mix within Brunei Darussalam. For the past two decades, Islamic banking, takaful (sharia-compliant insurance) and Islamic capital market products have been taking root and growing. These services now compete strongly against their conventional counterparts and continue to capture market share. With the government promoting sharia-compliant...

Chapter | Banking from The Report: Brunei Darussalam 2013

The banking sector has performed well historically, with a 70% increase in assets over 12 years. From 2007 to June 2012 total commercial banking assets in the Sultanate grew 30.5% to BN$20.1bn ($15.7bn). The sector is currently facing a period of re-adjustment, absorbing the implications of a more mature regulatory environment and looking at ways to support the government’s development plans. In...

As ASEAN chair in 2013, Brunei Darussalam has a regional agenda to push forward alongside its domestic plans for the year. Chief among its local priorities is developing alternative resources streams in its economy, which has long been driven by its oil and natural gas revenues. 

The Islamic banking segment strengthened its position within Brunei Darussalam’s financial services industry last year on the back of rising demand that led to the launch of a new bank and major bond issuances. Having moved early to establish sharia-compliant services, the Sultanate is now well placed to carve out a niche for itself as an international Islamic banking centre. However, the industry will need to address a number of challenges, led by a shortage of skilled workers, if it is to fully support the segment’s development.
Despite declining profits in 2011, Brunei Darussalam’s banks are looking forward to a period of financial stability and new products, as tighter lending rules put in place by the government have created a clean slate for new, better-regulated credit activity.
Brunei Darussalam has long identified Islamic finance as a sector that can be developed to its advantage, both to serve the banking needs of its domestic economy and as an avenue for economic development at the international level. To achieve these objectives, however, it will need to step up investments in human resources.

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