Tag Archives: London

Islamic Scholars will discuss Sharia’a Finance in London

Islamic Scholars will discuss Sharia’a Finance in London

Some of the world’s leading authorities on Islamic Finance will be meeting in London this week to discuss the launch of new Sharia’a-compliant products for the UK banking market, Islamic Bank of Britain reports.

The Islamic Bank of Britain’s (IBB) Sharia’a Supervisory Committee (SSC) will get together this Friday (25th January 2008). The agenda for the meeting will include a review of forthcoming Investment (Treasury) and Home Purchase products, as well as undertaking a Sharia’a review of the bank’s activity in 2007.

The Committee consists of Sheikh Dr. Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah (Committee Chairman), Sheikh Nizam Yaqoobi and (UK-based) Mufti Abdulkadir Barkatullah, and between them represent almost a century of Sharia’a-compliance experience. All three committee members are very much in demand by Islamic Financial institutions from around the world, and have chosen to utilise their expertise to further the cause of Islamic Finance in collaboration with IBB.

Mufti Barkatullah explained his commitment: “Islamic Bank of Britain is leading the way in promoting Islamic Finance in the UK, and I look forward to helping IBB with its pioneering role in the development of the industry.”

According to Islamic Bank of Britain “IBB is the first Islamic finance institution in the UK authorised and regulated by the FSA to operate as a bank. All Islamic Banks are overseen by a Committee of qualified and experienced Scholars, who are charged with ensuring that all products, services and processes comply with Islamic principles. In addition to Sharia’a reviews and approving the bank’s operations, the Committee also provides advice and guidance, based on their knowledge and experience within the Islamic Finance industry”.

As well as an external and independent review by the Scholars, IBB also has an internal Sharia’a Compliance Officer, who is responsible for continuously monitoring the day-to-day activities of the bank, and reports directly to the Sharia’a Supervisory Committee.

“The work of the Sharia’a Supervisory Committee is fundamental to the existence of IBB,” comments Shaher Abbas, the bank’s Sharia’a Compliance Officer. “Their approval is required before we launch any product, and they regularly review our business to ensure we are in compliance with the Sharia’a. This gives our customers complete peace of mind that we are operating in accordance with Islamic and ethical principles.”

IBB offers a number of products and services to it’s customers including Savings accounts, Treasury accounts, Personal Finance and Commercial Property Finance. The bank recently launched two new Commercial Centres for Islamic Finance – in London and Birmingham – to cater for the needs of its High Net-Worth and Business Banking customers.

London top western centre for Islamic finance – report

London top western centre for Islamic finance – report

International Financial Services London (IFSL) Monday promoted the British capital as the best Western centre for Islamic finance.

“As the global market for Islamic financial services has grown three fold over the past decade to Dlrs 531 billion in 2006, so London is setting out its stall to be the key western centre for Islamic finance,” the IFSL said.

The cluster of 23 UK banks offering Islamic services outnumber more than four time those of any other country in western Europe, it said in a report, which listed only five in Switzerland and four each in France and Luxembourg as the nearest rivals.

Britain was also shown to be ahead of the rest of Western Europe in establishing fully Sharia compliant banks by three of the 23 that have been set up since 2004. Trading at the London Metal Exchange was said to be a key mechanism for asset and liability management.

“Evidence of London’s growing role in Islamic finance is shown in the UK being the only western country to feature prominently, 9th with Dlrs 10bn, in a global ranking of Sharia compliant assets by country,” said IFSL director of economics, Duncan McKenzie.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Digby Jones also welcomed the report as confirming London’s position as the premier Western centre and partner of choice for Islamic finance, saying it was “a huge step in the right direction.”
But Digby Jones also warned that the UK must not be complacent and said the government trade and industry department was working hard in partnership with its delivery partners, to ensure the UK’s offering in this ever expanding sector continues.

The report also found that the UK educational institutions are taking the lead in positioning the UK as a leading centre of learning in Islamic finance.

IFSL, with more than 30 years experience, promotes the international activities of UK-based financial institutions and professional and business services, to help them develop commercial opportunities.

London bid to be key centre for Islamic finance

London bid to be key centre for Islamic finance

As the global market for Islamic financial services has grown three-fold over the past decade, so London is setting out its stall to be the key, according to a new report Monday.

The study by the International Financial Services London (IFSL) on Islamic finance, co-sponsored by the UK Trade and Investment Department, said the expertise in London is represented by 23 banks, nine fund managers and a number of international law firms offering Islamic service, while there is a secondary market in Sukuk valued at two billion dollars a month and a growing market for retail mortgage business.

IFSL’s report also found that daily trading in commodity-based agreements through the London Metal Exchange is a key mechanism for the management of assets and liabilities by Islamic financial institutions and the 23 UK banks outnumber more than four times those of any other country in Western Europe.

Britain is also ahead of the rest of Western Europe in establishing fully Sharia compliant banks, with three of the 23 UK banks having set up there since 2004.

These are The Islamic Bank of Britain, The European Islamic Investment Bank and The Bank of London and The Middle East.
Britains Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Digby Jones welcomed the report and congratulated IFSL for producing an in depth and informative report.

He said in a statement “London’s position as the premier Western centre and partner of choice for Islamic finance is a huge step in the right direction”.

“The results of this report will help shape UK Trade and Investment strategies to position the UK as a world leader and investment destination of choice”, he added.

The global market for Islamic financial services, as measured by Sharia compliant assets, is estimated to have reached 531billion dollars at end-2006, having grown by over 10 percent a year from about 150 billion dollars in the mid-1990s.

Islamic commercial banks accounted for 75 percent of the assets 397 billion dollars, and investment banks 13 percent, 66 billion dollars.
The British Government takes a view that developing Islamic financial services helps to combat social exclusion while also giving additional weight to London’s status as a global financial centre.