Malaysia needs to educate more staff on Islamic banking products and services towards becoming a hub for Islamic finance, said an Islamic banking consultant.
Zanariah Zahari, Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia senior consultant in training and professional development, said that while the country retained a dual-banking system to cater to conventional and Islamic banking needs, employees with Islamic banking knowledge were not many as compared to conventional banking staff.
“There is a demand for staff who know the products. We have a lot of products but a lot of the people selling them do not fully understand them,” she told The Star.
Zanariah said staff promoting Islamic finance had to be able to give customers the full details of the products and services so that they could decide what to sign up for under conventional or Islamic banking.
She noted that although there were many staff trained in conventional banking moving to Islamic banks, they would need more education on the Islamic services.
She added that Islamic banking is very competitive now in Malaysia and compete not only with their conventional sister banks but also full-fledge Islamic banks.
However, banks have also taken the initiative to educate their employees instead of relying only on the central bank.
On maintaining a dual-banking system, she said it was because the local market segments required both types of financial services.
“Also, we learn from countries like Pakistan and India where the full conversion to Islamic banking did not work out,” she said.
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