Development of Islamic Finance
The UK has witnessed rapid growth in the Islamic Finance sector in the last five years. UK market is the 17th largest in Islamic Finance out of 48 countries. Furthermore, it is the first non-Muslim majority country to be the main Islamic Finance hub in Europe. Initially, with the introduction of Murabaha transactions in the 1980s and the establishment of Al Baraka International Bank in 1982, Islamic Finance started to grow. Nowadays, UK is home to five fully Sharia-compliant banks, including twenty institutions that offer Islamic finance services.
The Islamic finance retail market has developed in recent years with the launch of a series of Sharia-compliant products including individual savings accounts, home purchase plans, and business start-up financing. Moreover, the government is working on Islamic student financing. Currently, the Islamic finance market has over 100,000 retail customers in the country.
The Islamic Sukuk market in the UK started to emerge in 2007 and has continuously grown. So far, the London Stock Exchange has listed nearly 57 Sukuk with a total value of $51bn. In 2014, the United Kingdom government became the first western government to issue sovereign Sukuk, over 11 times oversubscribed. Net assets of Islamic funds in the UK constitute approximately $600 million.
Four professional institutes and almost 70 business schools offer courses and degrees in Islamic Finance. The demand for Islamic Finance experts is growing globally. Hence, to serve this developing industry, the UK has taken a leading position in Islamic Finance education.
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