Bahrain to develop central Sharia board for Islamic banks

Bahrain's central bank is setting up a central sharia board to help oversee Islamic finance products in the kingdom and will introduce new rules to strengthen governance in the sector, central bank governor Rasheed al-Maraj said. Traditionally, Islamic banks have practiced self regulation to ensure the sharia-compliance of their products, but a centralised model is increasingly being favoured across the global industry. The central bank will introduce new sharia governance rules to expand the internal sharia review and audit functions, while making it mandatory for banks to have an independent external sharia audit.