Bahrain tightens Islamic finance rules with mandatory external audit

  • Bahrain tightens its rules for Islamic banks by requiring them to undergo independent, external audits to certify they are following Muslim laws known as sharia.
  • Announced by the central bank on Sunday, this could turn Bahrain into the strictest jurisdictions for Islamic banking.
  • It could help Manama maintain prominence in the industry against competition from centers such as Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.
  • Bahrain is insisting Islamic banks introduce external audits, starting with reports issued in 2020 on their business in 2019.
  • Banks would not be required to make audit results available to the public.
  • The central bank said it would soon issue training and competency requirements for members of sharia boards and for sharia auditors.

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