Britain encouraging banks to create sharia compliant instruments

By Marc Castro

Sep 20, 2013 12:37 PM EDT

Britain, through a task force, is encouraging banks to form and establish sharia-compliant products. The goal is to position London as one of the Western hubs for the fast growing Islamic finance industry with a projected revenue of USD2.6 trillion by 2017.

London is aiming to build itself as a leading exporter for financial services. The objective is to step up and challenge the dominance of Islamic finance centers like Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.

According to London Deputy Mayor Edward Lister, in a press conference while at Kuala Lumpur, said, "We want to be the leading (Islamic) finance sector outside of the Muslim world."

Under Islamic religious principles, interest and gambling are disallowed. These are also the precepts where Islamic finance operates. This is but a response to the increasing prominence of Gulf countries internationally as many investors from oil and gas rich investors do place their money overseas to earn under more 'relaxed' rules.

Britain's Islamic task force was established last March. It is comprised of several ministers and captains of industry together with top executives from Gatehouse Bank and Oakstone Merchant Bank Ltd.

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