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Supervisory, regulatory, and capital adequacy implications of profit‐sharing investment accounts in Islamic finance

Simon Archer (Islamic Financial Services Board, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Henley Business School, ICMA Centre, University of Reading, Reading, UK)
Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim (Islamic Financial Services Board, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Venkataraman Sundararajan (Centennial Group, Washington, DC, USA)

Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research

ISSN: 1759-0817

Article publication date: 16 April 2010




The aims of this paper are: first, to draw attention to the issues of displaced commercial risk (DCR) which arise as a result of the risk characteristics of profit‐sharing investment accounts (PSIA), the main source of funding of Islamic banks in most jurisdictions; and, second, to present a value‐at‐risk approach to the estimation of DCR and the associated adjustments in capital requirements.


The paper is based on empirical research into the characteristics of PSIA in practice, which vary to a greater or lesser extent from what one would expect them to be in principle, on an analysis of the capital adequacy and risk management implications that flow from this, and on an econometric formulation whereby the extent of DCR in Islamic banks may be estimated.


The findings are, first, that the characteristics of PSIA can vary from being a deposit like product (fixed return, capital certain, all risks borne by shareholders) to an investment product (variable return, bearing the risk of losses in underlying investments), depending upon the extent to which the balance sheet risks get shifted (“displaced”) from investment account holders to shareholders through various techniques available to Islamic banks' management. Second, the paper finds that this DCR has a major impact on Islamic bank's economic and regulatory capital requirements, asset‐liability management, and product pricing. Finally, it proposes an econometric approach to estimating DCR but report that individual Islamic banks generally lack the data needed to apply this approach, in the absence of which panel data for a population of Islamic banks may be used to estimate DCR for that population.

Research limitations/implications

Empirically, the paper is thus limited by the lack of data just mentioned. Furthermore, the application of the proposed panel data approach has been left for future research.


The analysis of the issues and the development of the econometric model represent in themselves an original research contribution of some significance.



Archer, S., Ahmed Abdel Karim, R. and Sundararajan, V. (2010), "Supervisory, regulatory, and capital adequacy implications of profit‐sharing investment accounts in Islamic finance", Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 10-31.



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