Thursday September 29, 2011
Talent shortage in Syariah banking
By MANJIT KAUR
MALAYSIA requires more professionals and skilled talents with dual knowledge in conventional and Syariah banking services as the country moves towards becoming an Islamic financial hub, said the Mentri Besar.
Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said the current shortage of qualified Islamic finance professionals was not only a challenge but posed as a serious threat to the growth and development of the banking industry.
“The talent shortage may be an impediment to growth if not addressed immediately,” he told reporters after opening the latest branch of HSBC Amanah Malaysia in Gunung Rapat, Ipoh, last Thursday.
Dr Zambry said statistics by the International Islamic University of Malaysia showed that two million finance professionals were required to fill up various positions in Islamic financial institutions worldwide by the year 2020.
“This is a stark contrast to the estimated 92,000 finance professionals that were recorded as working in the Islamic finance industry in 2007.
“In Malaysia we will need some 12,000 such professionals, almost double the 7,826 currently employed by Islamic banks,” he added.
The Gunung Rapat branch is the ninth to be set up by HSBC Amanah, the Islamic financial banking arm of HSBC Bank.
Its chief executive officer Rafe Haneef said in his speech that the branch was the latest addition to HSBC Amanah, which was currently expanding its network in the country.
HSBC Amanah, he added, had grown considerably with seven branches in the Klang Valley and Selangor, and one each in Penang and Johor Baru, since its incorporation in 2008.
“This branch in Ipoh is among the latest to be launched in the country and is the fourth HSBC branch in the state of Perak,” he said.
Noting that Ipoh was the epicentre of economic development for Perak, Rafe said the state had attracted a lot of investments.
“There is tourism, education and advance technology in the state, and banks like HSBC can help the state government grow further,” he said.