Brunei central bank to launch centre to spur innovation in financial sector

Brunei Darussalam Central Bank Managing Director Hajah Rokiah Badar delivers a speech. - PHOTO: Borneo Bulletin/ANN

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): The Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB) is set to launch a financial technology (FinTech) innovation centre named Mekar this year to serve as a centralised space and community for all FinTech related activities, aimed at spurring greater innovation in the financial sector.

This was said by BDCB Managing Director Hajah Rokiah Badar in her opening remarks at the Brunei Darussalam Islamic Finance Symposium 2024 at Balai Khazanah Islam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah yesterday.

She said, “The full benefits of the new platform can only be realised if the industry actively engages with it. (Thus), I urge all industry players to make use of the valuable resources.”

Hajah Rokiah also highlighted the importance of adopting a continuous learning mindset to keep pace with technological advancements in the industry.

“Growing the domestic Islamic finance market has been a major goal for our country, aligning with our core Malay Islamic Monarchy values and enhancing the financial sector’s contribution to the economy, as outlined in Pillar 2 of the Brunei Darussalam Financial Sector Blueprint 2016-2025,” she said.

The managing director also recalled initiatives in developing Islamic finance in the Sultanate, which included the Syariah Governance Framework, introduced in 2018, and amended in 2023, to ensure structure, process, products and services of Islamic financial institutions are in accordance with Syariah principles.

She also revealed to date 232 government sukuk have been issued amounting to BND16.99 billion. The introduction of the BDCB Islamic Bills programme in 2020, aims to support banks.

“Liquidity management also represented a pivotal advancement in Islamic finance with its use of the Syariah concept Wakalah bil Ujrah which was the first of its kind in Brunei Darussalam. Since its maiden issuance on October 22, 2020, we have had 172 issuances aggregating to BND4.36 billion as of May,” she said. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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