Comparative study of the performance of Islamic and conventional banks

Shaista Wasiuzzaman (Faculty of Management, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia)
Umadevi Nair Gunasegavan (MBA Centre, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia)


ISSN: 0828-8666

Publication date: 15 February 2013



The aim of this paper is to analyze the differences in bank characteristics of Islamic and conventional banks in Malaysia, especially when it comes to their profitability, capital adequacy, liquidity, operational efficiency and asset quality are also considered. Corporate governance issues and economic conditions are also included in the analysis.


A total of 14 banks (nine conventional and five Islamic) were considered over the period of 2005‐2009. Three stages of analysis were performed. First, descriptive statistics were computed to understand the differences in characteristics of the two types of banks. Next, to determine whether these differences were significant, independent t‐tests were carried out on each variable. Finally, regression analysis was carried out to analyze the effect of the variables on bank profitability.


It is found that the return on average assets, bank size and board size values of conventional banks was higher compared to Islamic banks. The other variables – operational efficiency, asset quality, liquidity, capital adequacy and board independence – were higher for Islamic banks. Significant differences between the two bank types were found for all the variables, except for profitability and board independence. All variables except for liquidity, board characteristics and type of bank, were found to be highly significant in affecting profitability.


This paper looks at the differences between Islamic and conventional banking systems in Malaysia. Contrasting results were found for the independent t‐tests and regression analysis, which makes it an interesting study that should be pursued further.



Wasiuzzaman, S. and Nair Gunasegavan, U. (2013), "Comparative study of the performance of Islamic and conventional banks", Humanomics, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 43-60.

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