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RFI Foundation releases a “Responsible Finance Champion” case study and podcast about CIMB Islamic Bank

By RFI Foundation | 19-Jun-2019

London, United Kingdom, 19 June 2019 – The RFI Foundation is excited to announce the release of an in-depth case study of one of our member financial institutions, CIMB Islamic Bank (“CIMB Islamic”), which has adopted responsible finance practices in a systematic way. The case study and companion podcast is designed to show that it is possible for an Islamic bank to integrate responsible finance practices into its operations and strategy and to generate wide stakeholder buy-in based on a fundamental business rationale.

The case study and podcast expand a shorter case study that was included in the Refinitiv-RFI Foundation report titled “Islamic Finance ESG Outlook 2019”, which was released during the RFI Summit 2019. The report, which also includes knowledge-building materials created by RFI Foundation in collaboration with Refinitiv, focused on the financial materiality of responsible finance for Islamic financial institutions. Taken together, the case study, podcast and report demonstrate there is a defensible, clear business case for Islamic banks to seek out strategic advantage in responsible finance.

CIMB Islamic, and the whole CIMB Group, have shown through their actions that there is a repeatable process for Islamic banks to adopt responsible finance practices. Focused on CIMB Islamic, this case study documents how CIMB Group achieved buy-in from a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders, including management, shareholders and directors, with the support of employees who are passionate about sustainability, particularly millennials.

Blake Goud, CEO of the RFI Foundation, commented: “The case study highlights the achievements of one of RFI’s members. CIMB Islamic and CIMB Group have made great strides to embed sustainability and sustainable finance into the bank’s strategy. We commend their commitment and achievements, and RFI Foundation looks forward to continuing to work with other members who also set a positive example for responsible finance practice within Islamic banking. The case study and podcast demonstrate conclusively that Islamic financial institutions can gain strategic benefit from responsible finance, and RFI Foundation can help with that journey.”

The case study is available from the RFI Foundation website,, and the podcast is released as an episode of the “Responsible Finance Podcast” series available on iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher and Podbean.


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