MANAMA: For the third year in a row, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) was honoured with the top award at the International Takaful Summit in London.
The CBB was named Best Financial Centre for 2010, recognising Bahrain as the leading international centre for the takaful industry.
Bahrain has nine takaful and retakaful operators, a critical mass for this growing sector of the insurance market.
The seven takaful companies had gross contributions of BD32.7 million for last year, representing a 22 per cent increase over 2008. Of this amount, the family takaful contributions were BD5.7m, 17.3pc of the total takaful business.
"The sound regulatory infrastructure and the active dialogues undertaken by the CBB with the takaful industry have been recognised as key drivers in the expansion of this sector," said CBB director of insurance supervision Nader Al Mandeel.
"More recently, much work has been undertaken dealing specifically with corporate governance as well as regulatory solvency issues.
"The unique structure of takaful companies
requires a clear understanding of the various insurance risks and, through the years, the CBB has been at the forefront of ensuring the sound development of its regulatory framework in this regard.
"The CBB does recognise that consistent application of takaful rules is a key feature in ensuring the continued growth of this industry."
The CBB actively participates in the development of new international standards for the takaful industry.
It plays an essential part in the various Islamic Financial Standards Board initiatives and supports the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions in evolving accounting, auditing and governance standards.
"The CBB is pleased to have been recognised by this prestigious award and will endeavour to continue working to build the takaful industry. The growing capacity of retakaful companies has helped the takaful industry in seeking mechanisms to place risks underwritten by takaful companies," said CBB executive director of financial institutions supervision Abdul Rahman Al Baker.
"In Bahrain, gross premiums from retakaful companies have grown from BD15.9m in 2008 to BD50.5m in 2009, registering a significant growth of 217.6pc," added Mr Al Baker.