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Head of Islamic Banking

Job Summary

The Head of Islamic Banking will be responsible for the management of the Islamic Banking portfolio and key liaison with the Shariah Advisory Board and scholars in the country.

To drive Islamic Banking in Kenya by delivering high-quality support to businesses, by providing specialized expertise in product development, Shariah compliance, and sales strategies, and drive ecosystem relationships across the business.

Proactively manage the penetration of the Islamic banking proposition for ABSA bank as a market leader with a strong customer base.

Job Description

Main accountabilities and approximate time split

Strategy and Leadership – 35%

  • Build and develop high performing team through driving high sustainable performance offering the unique solutions for the proposition.
  • Develop winning strategies that will help the bank penetrate the market faster and remain competitive.
  • Delivering excellence in sales and developing new leads from outside the Bank
  • Conduct road shows endorsed by the Shariah Advisory Board to promote our Islamic products
  • Using the existing network to maximize sales to Bank customers and maintaining a leads database
  • Performing to plans as agreed, to drive profitability and increase market share
  • Review of customer base to identify and exploit opportunities through design and implementation of new La Riba products and services
  • Hosting customer forums to enhance awareness about Islamic products to ensure maximum benefits are achieved.
  • Identifying issues and escalating appropriately.
  • Training and development, coaching of staff to ensure broad awareness of Islamic banking products
  • Adherence to reporting requirements and deadlines in respect to Islamic banking issues
  • Overall responsibility and accountability for the profitability of Islamic Banking proposition

Islamic Products Development – 30%

  • Identify opportunities for new product development and enhancement in line with Emerging Markets Consumer strategy.
  • Guide the development of all Islamic Banking products using the appropriate Islamic Finance instrument
  • Ensure balance sheet and income targets are met for the Islamic Banking proposition through establishing and implementing the product pricing strategy in liaison with the products team.
  • Own the Islamic banking product development and implementation process including completing in country and Group approval processes e.g. Product approval committee (NPA) and Group Credit Risk Committee (CREXCO).
  • Engage key banking regulators to approve Islamic Products (Central Bank of Kenya)
  • Contribute ideas for alternative product strategies to manage the mix of Asset and Liabilities, mix of assets and liabilities.
  • Monitor and provide feedback on Islamic banks’ product activity, strategy and pricing
  • Liaise with the legal team to harmonize Islamic law with local law on issues affecting contracts and product’s terms and conditions.

Managing the Shariah Board /Shariah compliance – 20%

  • Design products in consultation with the Shariah Advisory Board and follow the NPA governance.
  • Implement full Shariah governance for each product and get sign off.
  • Maintain minutes of the Shariah Board meetings and have them approved by the Chairman of the Board on agreement by all members
  • Liaise with other scholars in and out of the country to access fatwas (decrees) of other scholars and share with the Shariah Advisory Board.
  • Monitor products for compliance by having monthly checks in place.
  • Coordinate Annual Shariah Audits, get sign off certificates and get media coverage from these events.
  • Update and support the Shariah Advisory Board on latest issues in the banking industry.
  • Provide secretariat for Shariah Advisory Board meetings including circulation of meeting documentation and maintain financial records.

Compliance & Governance -10%

  • Liaison with the Shariah Advisory Board and other scholars to ensure compliance and enhancement and acceptance of the Islamic banking Proposition in the market.
  • Managing the risk profile of the Islamic Banking portfolio and mitigate issues such as mis-selling, product alignment to the right market segment
  • Developing of processes and procedures in consultation with relevant stakeholders
  • Obtain all relevant internal approvals on the products from ALCO, CMC and other stakeholders
  • Maintain records of all internal and external approvals for audit purposes

Service and Customer Relationship Management -5%  

  • Arrange for Islamic Banking customer forums to obtain feedback on products and services.
  • Managing and leading customer and alliance partner relationships
  • Working in close cooperation with other Consumer Teams, to provide a world-class La Riba offering to customer groups
  • Build relationships with internal stakeholders & service providers

Role/person specification

Knowledge and Skills

  • Team player
  • Development of excellent communication skills, external and internal
  • Sales and customer relationship management
  • Detailed knowledge of Absa Retail & business banking products strategy
  • Detailed knowledge of Muslim banking culture
  • A comprehensive knowledge of Absa Retail & business banking products and systems that support them
  • Knowledge of the Islamic Banks competitor landscape & processes
  • Understanding of Shariah Law, Shariah Board and Shariah Audits
  • Knowledge of Islamic Financial instruments.

Technical Competencies

  • Strong numeracy and analysis
  • Excellent sales and relationship management skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • External stakeholder management
  • Leadership and team management skills
  • Negotiation and influencing
  • Sound IT proficiency, in MS Office, especially Word and Excel (spreadsheet building)
  • Knowledge of Islamic products and propositions.