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Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom

Financial Times: New Islamic banks grow steadily in UK

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Points of Essence:

  • Amidst global economic uncertainty, three Islamic banks in the UK are reportedly continue to grow. This is largely contributed to to the strict Islamic banking principles that shunned excessive speculation and highly leveraged activities that brought down reputable conventional financial institutions. Financial Times reported.

By David Oakley, Capital Markets Correspondent

Launching a bank in the face of the worst financial crisis in almost 80 years does not appear to make business sense.

But that is precisely what investors in two of Britain’s five Islamic banks did as demand continued to grow in Europe for financial products that avoided paying interest, in line with strict religious rules. These products pay profits from an underlying business or rent from a building used as collateral to raise money.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

November 10, 2008 at 11:24 am

Islamic finance moves into mainstream as investors seek ethical alternatives

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Points of Essence:

  • Islamic finance in the UK it has grown to more than £500 million. The Mintel Report revealed that 400,000 Muslims in Britain were Islamic products customers. There is still a huge potential market as Muslim population is estimated to be almost 3 million.
  • There has been a shift in approaching potential customers in the UK. Initially, Sharia-compliant finance was merely targeting Muslims to buy financial products that comply with the tenets of their religion. Now, non-Muslims have also taken interest due to the ethical standpoint of the products. Shariah compliant products do not appeal to all Muslims too.
  • The ortodox Muslims were skeptical of Islamic window products such as from HSBC Amanah, the Bank of Ireland’s commercial mortgage business and Lloyds TSB as their products were not guaranteed to be Shariah compliant. There is no problem with full fledged Islamic banks in this sense as funds were taken from their deposit base and not borrowed from the interbank market. As such, HSBC in particular, targetted laissez faire Muslims as they endorsed ‘above the line’ marketing approach.

From The Times September 16, 2008

Our correspondent looks at the steady rise of Sharia-compliant banking across Britain

Muslim Praying at Mosque

Islamic finance, although tied to religious law, is no longer a niche product


Christine Seib

Amjid Ali tells a story about when he was setting up the UK operations of HSBC Amanah, HSBC’s Islamic bank, in 2003. Mr Ali, now a senior manager at the global Amanah business, said: “I had a young, white, Christian man working with me. His surname was Bacon, which wasn’t ideal, but he embedded himself in the community so well that he became known as Mr Halal Bacon.”

His point was that although Islamic, or Sharia-compliant, finance was designed to enable Muslims to buy financial products that comply with the tenets of their religon, it is no longer a niche business. “There’s no need to be Muslim to work here or to buy the products,” Mr Ali said.

The global Islamic finance market is growing at 15 per cent a year and is expected to be worth $1,000 billion by 2010. In the UK it has grown to more than £500 million. A recent Mintel report said that 400,000 Muslims in Britain held Islamic products.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

September 16, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Posted in Articles

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The car insurance that obeys sharia rules

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Points of Essence:

  • Salaam Halal, being the first Islamic insurance (takaful) provider in UK, plans to roll out motor insurance coverage and home insurance policy to cater for the need of the Muslim population in UK before end of the year.
  • This makes it a second Takaful offering in UK apart from HSBC’s Amanah home insurance.
  • To ensure compliance with Islamic law, all the activities and products of Salaam Insurance are overseen by its Sharia Supervisory Committee.
  • The Salaam Halal insurance products will appeal to British Muslims as well as to the non-Muslim community who are interested in products of an ethical or co-operative nature, because of the nature of Halal insurance.

By Kara Gammell
Last Updated: 4:24pm BST 08/09/2008

More than 2m Muslims in Britain will now be able to arrange motor insurance without compromising their religious beliefs, according to Salaam Halal Insurance. Bradley Brandon-Cross, the chief executive of Salaam Insurance, says: “Conventional United Kingdom insurance options conflict with the core beliefs of the Muslim faith and, as a result, give Muslims living in the UK who wish to drive a car no choice but to go against their beliefs in order to follow the law, which requires motorists to have cover.

“The face of Britain is changing and it is the responsibility of British institutions to cater for such changes and welcome diversity.”

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

September 9, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Halal’ Personal Finance is another first from Islamic Bank of Britain

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Points of Essence:

  • Islamic Bank of Britain now offers the sole Shariah compliant unsecured personal finance in UK.
  • This financing will operate under the Islamic principle of Murabaha with deferred payments to generate cash funds between £1,000 and £20,000.

Islamic Bank of Britain, the UK’s only totally Islamic British bank, has launched a Sharia’a compliant personal ‘loan’ facility, making it the only provider of ‘Halal’ unsecured finance in the UK.

The new unsecured facility allows customers to generate cash funds between £1,000 and £20,000 using the Islamic principle of Murabaha with deferred payments. The end result is that consumers can get a finance facility similar to a conventional loan but in accordance with the Muslim faith which prohibits the use of interest.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

August 25, 2008 at 2:54 am

CIMA becomes first accountancy body with Islamic finance certificate

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Points of Essence:

  • CIMA plans to offer Certificate in Islamic Finance to meet the global demand for an Islamic finance certification.
  • The certificate will be the first qualification offered by a professional accounting body and offered in collaboration with the Malaysian International Institute of Islamic Finance (IIIF).

The growing demand internationally for Islamic finance has ventured CIMA to be the first professional accountancy body globally to offer a ‘Certificate in Islamic Finance’ that covers Islamic commercial law, Islamic banking and Takaful, Islamic capital markets and instruments and Accounting for Islamic financial institutions.Mr Faizal Salieh, Managing Director/CEO of Amana Investments Ltd, spoke to an enthusiastic cross section of members and passed finalists of the Chartered Management Accountants body (CIMA) CIMA Students and members on “ISLAMIC FINANCE AND BANKING: THE FIRST PRINCIPLES” at a programme organised by the Management Information and Resource Centre of the CIMA Sri Lanka division.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

August 20, 2008 at 7:49 am

Posted in Human Talent

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Unique “Halaal” Savings Plan launched in the UK

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Points of Essence:

  • alburaq, UK’s Home Finance provider launched the Islamic Savings Plan for UK customers.
  • The Shariah compliant product is an alternative to a guaranteed equity bond which allows customers exposure to the stock market in complete harmony with ethical Islamic principles.
  • Under the plan, customers can deposit as little as £500, and get their investment linked to the stock market via 20 shares selected from the Dow Jones Islamic Index. Savers will be entitled to 100% of the capital gain achieved by the plan – whilst enjoying peace of mind that their initial deposit is protected and their investment is in accordance with Shari’ah.

alburaq, the UK’s most innovative Islamic Home Finance provider, has launched a unique savings product for British customers. The new capital-protected Savings Plan is an “Halaal” alternative to a guaranteed equity bond, and allows customers exposure to the stock market in complete harmony with ethical Islamic principles.

Customers can deposit as little as £500, and their investment will be linked to the stock market via 20 shares selected from the Dow Jones Islamic Index. Savers will be entitled to 100% of the capital gain achieved by the plan – whilst enjoying peace of mind that their initial deposit is protected and their investment is in accordance with Shari’ah.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

August 13, 2008 at 3:04 am

Gatehouse sees more UK Islamic investment banks

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Points of Essence:

  • Currently, the UK has one full-fledged Islamic bank and four Islamic investment banks.
  • Gatehouse Bank sees the rise of Shariah compliant banks in the UK is driven by the government efforts to turn its capital into a global hub for the industry

* Britain intends to issue its own sovereign sukuk debt in a rolling programme worth around two billion pounds

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of Sharia-compliant investment banks in the UK is expected to more than double to 10 within five years, Islamic lender Gatehouse said on Tuesday.

The rise of banking that fulfil the requirements of Islamic law in the UK is being driven by government efforts to turn its capital into a global hub for the industry, said Samer Merhi, Gatehouse Bank executive director for institutional wealth management structuring and origination.

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Written by Suapi Shaffaii

August 13, 2008 at 2:45 am