At the end of 2012/13 the global market for Islamic finance was worth around US$1.3 trillion, with US$19 billion of reported assets in the UK. There are 716 Islamic financial institutions spread over 61 countries.
As the Islamic finance industry has developed the UK has created a market where Islamic banks and their clients are not treated any differently to their conventional counterparties. Initiatives include:
removing double tax on Islamic mortgages
extending tax relief on Islamic mortgages to companies as well as to individuals
reforming arrangements for issues of debt
In 2012 the UK was ranked the 9th largest country by Sharia compliant assets with more than 20 institutions offering Islamic finance and six wholly Sharia compliant banks. The UK already offers great growth potential to Islamic financial services:
more than 20 international banks operating in the UK are working in Islamic finance, 6 of which are fully Sharia compliant
British banks are increasingly active in the international Sukuk market
UK domestic banks are expanding their Islamic finance offering to meet demand
Islamic finance has helped transform London’s skyline by financing in whole or in part developments such as The Shard, Chelsea Barracks, Harrods and the Olympic Village.
the UK has the largest legal services market in Europe and over 25 law firms with offices in the UK are supplying Islamic legal services
there are 9 fund managers offering Islamic asset management services to their clients
*all of the UK’s largest accountants, consultants and professional service firms have Islamic finance departments
new standards and qualifications in Islamic finance are being offered by professional institutes, universities and business schools across the UK
the London Stock Exchange has raised a total of US$34 billion through 49 issues of Sukuk
the London Metal Exchange (LME) is an important avenue for the growth of Islamic finance globally - a significant volume of liquidity management transactions concluded by Islamic finance institutions and other Sharia compliant firms are supported by metals on LME warrant
The UK is one of the most desirable places to study in the world with around 100,000 international students studying at UK universities. A range of specialist courses and qualifications in Islamic finance are taught in the UK at a number of universities, business schools and professional bodies.