Monday, February 9, 2009

Britain's Islamic finance sector: Telegraph

By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent

The study says that the UK has by far the largest number of banks for Muslims – whose products prohibit interest payments and investment in alcohol or gambling firms – of any western country.

There are now five "fully Sharia-compliant" banks in the UK while another 17 leading institutions including Barclays, RBS and Lloyds Banking Group have set up special branches or subsidiary firms for Muslim clients.

The $18billion (£12bn) in assets of Britain's Islamic banks dwarf those of some states where Islam is the main religion, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and Egypt.

In addition, there are 55 colleges and professional institutions offering education in Islamic finance in Britain – more than anywhere else in the world.

The growth of the UK as a centre for Islamic finance has been helped in recent years by the Government, according to the new report by International Financial Services London, which has extended tax relief on Sharia-compliant mortgages to companies and made the trade in "Sukuk" bonds easier.

For more on this article, please click on the following link: Britain's Islamic finance sector: Telegraph

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