Islamic Financial Services in the United Kingdom

Islamic Financial Services in the United Kingdom

Islamic Financial Services in the United Kingdom

Islamic Financial Services in the United Kingdom

Synopsis

The second installment in Edinburgh University Press's Guides to Islamic Finance series, as well as the first book-length study of Islamic financial services in Great Britain, this volume emphasizes how British examples of Islamic financial provision illustrate both the main characteristics of Islamic financial teaching and key issues in the lives of British Muslims. Coverage is comprehensive, with chapters on the history of Islamic financial provision in Great Britain, personal deposit accounts, personal finance and credit cards, home finance, investment funds and share dealing, insurance, sukuk, and commercial financing. Elaine Housby is broadly sympathetic to the general spirit and aims of the Islamic financial tradition, yet she is also critical of its manifestations in practice. Her book is especially topical, since most Islamic banks based in Britain remain relatively unaffected by the problems facing other British banks. This is partly due to the prohibition against toxic assets, which are not compliant with shariah law, and they are also forbidden to borrow from wholesale markets or pay riba (interest). Instead Islamic banks rely on their own deposits for funding, a traditional and more sustainable business model.

Excerpt

This book describes Islamic financial services in the United Kingdom. It is the first book to look exclusively at this country. This is rather surprising when London is a major centre of the global Islamic finance industry. Perhaps, though, the very importance of the country internationally has obscured the situation of Muslims in the United Kingdom itself.

The book is an attempt to provide a comprehensive account of the Islamic financial services that are available in the United Kingdom at the present time. It is in the nature of such a study that aspects of it will quickly become outdated. This is particularly true of a study undertaken during a period of such upheaval in the world of finance. The book was begun at the time when a series of high profile bank failures were shocking the general public as well as the banking industry. On the one hand, this led to increased interest in the Islamic sector, which was perceived to have refrained from excessive risk taking, but, on the other hand, the commercial viability of Islamic services was also affected. Some products were withdrawn from the market during the period that this book was being written. Because this study seeks to present a complete history of Islamic finance in the United Kingdom, such recently discontinued products have still been described in detail. It is likely that some of them will reappear when the economic climate is more favourable.

A book published five years earlier would have presented a much more positive picture of unqualified growth and . . .

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