The exponential growth of Islamic banks in Tunisia

The net result of the three Islamic banks active in Tunisia recorded an exceptional increase of 265% in 2020 to reach 62 million dinars (MD) compared to 17MD in 2019, according to the annual report on banking supervision for the year 2020. , published by the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT).

– Announcement-

This development is the result of the combined effect of some elements, namely the doubling of a bank’s net profit in relation to the increase in loans, which determines an increase in its profit margin and its NBI and a decrease for a other bank of the cost of risk in connection in particular with the exceptional measures relating to the extension of maturities and the recovery of some classified relationships
Similarly, the NBI of Islamic banks recorded a significant improvement of 39.1% in 2020 against 18.5% of the previous year, which remains dominated by the strong contribution of the profit margin, equal to 71% .
The cost to income ratio of Islamic banks also improved by 12.9 percentage points compared to 2019, reaching 56%; the level of which remains high as the 3 banks are expanding.

7.4% of deposits and 6.2% of loans

According to the BCT, the activity of Islamic banks in Tunisia has developed strongly. Indeed, the share of assets they hold increased from 5.1% in 2017 to 6.4% in 2020. These banks monopolize 7.4% of total deposits and 6.2% of total loans in the banking sector. at the end of 2020.

For the operational jobs of these banking institutions, they amounted to 6607 MD at the end of 2020, an increase of 1106 MD or 20.1% over the year 2019.
The credit portfolio of Islamic banks reached 5750 MD consisting mainly of Murabaha (72%) and Ijara (15.5%) operations.
The resources of Islamic banks evolved, in 2020, at the same pace as the previous year, or by 16.4%. Deposits of banks engaged in Islamic operations amount to 6116 MD and consist of 36.4% sight accounts, 41.4% savings accounts and 15.9% equity deposits.
The medium and long-term resources of Islamic banks increased slightly in 2020, against a decline in the last 2 years, to constitute only 1.6% of the total operating resources of Islamic banks compared to 5.3% in 2017.
The outstanding amount of classified loans of Islamic banks increased by 38 MD (or 9.9%), compared to 2019, to 430 MD.

Shariâ and quality of service, determining factors

A study conducted by two Tunisian academics, Moez Ltifi and Jamel Gharbi, shows that Tunisian clients of Islamic banks believe that the factors: perceived quality of service, trust and respect for “chari’a” are of considerable importance in making a decision. on this financial institution. This therefore requires banks to pay them special attention to address their customers’ concerns.

Likewise, trust in Islamic banks is based on respect for the “sharia” for customers who want to feel they can trust Islamic banks in their investments. This is consistent with the literature, which proposes that the level of confidence is a function of the level of risk

As regards the quality factor of the service offered by Islamic banks, customers attach great importance to the various services provided by banking institutions such as the time required for the approval of the loan, the respect of the staff in contact, the request for customer follow-up. , the transaction speed of financial operations, etc.

The results of the study showed that there is a moderating effect of gender and age between the choice of an Islamic bank and these determinants (quality of service, trust and respect for the “shari’ah”).

Women are more sensitive to the choice of Islamic banks than men. The form of service delivery, the level of trust and compliance with the financial institution’s “shari’ah” influence women to choose this bank more than men. This encourages us to advise Islamic financial institutions to adopt gender as one of the main criteria for segmenting and classifying their clients.

Similarly, the age of the consumer exerts a moderating effect on the relationship between choosing an Islamic bank and quality of service / trust / compliance with “Sharia”. The under 35 group has a greater propensity to choose its Islamic bank on the basis of the perceived quality of the service, the trust placed in the financial institution and its respect for the “shari’ah” than the group over 35 years old.

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