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Government 'to help develop Islamic finance'
31/01/2007

Government proposals have been announced to help develop Islamic finance in the UK in an attempt to establish the UK as a leading nation in Islamic financial practices.

Under plans outlined by economic secretary to the Treasury Ed Balls, the government will help facilitate Islamic finance in the UK while supporting Islamic financial products and Sharia-compliant finance. This includes a range of products spanning savings, current accounts and loans.

Key initiatives to this end include the upcoming launch of the Islamic Finance Qualification this year, which combines the efforts of the Securities and Investment Institute and the Ecole Superieure des Affaires.

"I am pleased to be able to outline these reforms alongside the announcement of a Memorandum of Understanding to help set standards for Islamic capital markets," stated Mr Balls.

"Today is an example of public and private sectors working together to fulfil our shared ambition of creating major international markets in Islamic finance with London as their centre."

In total the Islamic finance sector is believed to be worth somewhere between $300 billion and $500 billion (153 billion and 255 billion) worldwide.

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