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Group to push Birmingham as a centre for Islamic banking

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Points of Essence:

  • Birmingham is set to rival London as a new Islamic financial center as it seeks to leverage on the good reputation of the Islamic Bank of Great Britain and forge alliances with major stakeholders of the Islamic financial services industry. Attending a world event on Islamic finance in Bahrain will be its first step.

By Anna Blackaby, Business Staff

Birmingham’s growing reputation as a centre for Islamic finance is set to receive a boost when a delegation from the city attends the sector’s major event in Bahrain.

Locate In Birmingham, the city’s inward investment service, is working with the Birmingham-based Islamic Bank of Britain, the West Midlands Business Council and Birmingham Forward to promote the city as a centre for Islamic finance.

The organisation will join a UK Trade and Investment delegation at next month’s World Islamic Banking Conference in Bahrain with Birmingham-based Islamic Finance Advisory & Assurance Services (IFAAS).

Locate In Birmingham manager Mike Loftus said: “We have been looking at the success of the reputation of the Islamic Bank of Britain and exploring what we can do to promote Birmingham as a location for Islamic banking.

“We are also encouraging lawyers, accountants and other professionals to develop experience so they can work with companies like the Islamic Bank of Britain.

“Although the sector is small, it’s important because of its capacity to grow. The other strand we’re looking at is to promote Birmingham as a location for significant players in the new world economy such as the big sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf States.”

IFAAS, which specialises in advising on Shariah-compliant financial products and services, set up its first office in Birmingham last year.

It has seen the sector grow so rapidly it was forced to bring forward plans for a second office in Europe at the end of 2009 when it last week opened an office in Paris.

IFAAS managing director Farrukh Raza said: “The World Islamic Banking Conference is the largest event in the Islamic financial industry at a global level. Last year for the first time the UK had a pavilion to showcase UK excellence in Islamic finance.

“It was very successful and attracted a lot of interest not only from local and international media but from potential investors.

“This year we’re going with a much bigger effective.”


Note: See the previously posted article on the same issue here.


Written by Suapi Shaffaii

October 14, 2008 at 12:01 pm

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