Gary Schwartz

CEO

What is the state of Halal Finance across the G7?

The state of Halal finance across G7 countries shows varying levels of development and integration, influenced by local regulations and market demands.

Overall, the G7 countries are progressively incorporating Halal finance into their economies, each at different stages of development and with unique approaches tailored to their respective legal and market environments. The focus remains on enhancing regulatory frameworks, increasing market offerings, and ensuring compliance with Islamic law to cater to the growing demand for Halal financial products.

United Kingdom

Islamic finance in the UK has grown significantly since the early 2000s. The UK government has supported the sector by implementing regulatory frameworks and tax reforms to accommodate Shariah-compliant products. In 2004, the Islamic Bank of Britain (now Al Rayan Bank) became the first Islamic bank to be established in the country. The UK is also home to several Islamic finance conferences and forums, further promoting the industry.

Example: Gatehouse Bank: Gatehouse Bank offers Shariah-compliant products, including MyUIF green home finance, savings accounts, and property investment opportunities.

United States

Islamic finance in the US has seen steady growth since the 1980s. Early pioneers like LARIBA and University Islamic Financial helped establish the market by providing home financing and investment products. The regulatory environment in the US has gradually adapted to accommodate Shariah-compliant financial practices.

Example: University Islamic Financial: University Islamic Financial offers compliant home financing, investment accounts, and commercial real estate financing.

Germany

Germany’s interest in Islamic finance began gaining momentum in the 2000s, with the establishment of institutions like KT Bank in 2015. The country has been working on integrating Islamic finance into its broader financial system, focusing on regulatory frameworks and market demand.

Example: KT Bank: KT Bank provides compliant banking services, including savings accounts, current accounts, and financing solutions.

France

France has shown growing interest in Islamic finance since the 2000s, with efforts to develop a supportive regulatory environment. The French government’s commitment to exploring Islamic finance was marked by the release of a white paper addressing legal and business aspects of the sector.

Example: CIFIE (Centre d’Innovation et de Formation en Finance Islamique): CIFIE promotes and educates about Islamic finance in France, offering training programs and consultancy services.

Japan

Japan’s engagement with Islamic finance began in earnest in the late 2000s, driven by its interest in enhancing trade and investment ties with Muslim-majority countries. The Japanese government has supported initiatives to integrate Islamic finance principles within its financial system.

Example: Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC): JBIC facilitates compliant financing for infrastructure and development projects.

Italy

Italy’s interest in Islamic finance has been growing, particularly in trade finance and investment products. Italian financial institutions are increasingly exploring Shariah-compliant options to cater to the needs of Muslim investors and businesses.

Example: Banca UBAE: Banca UBAE offers compliant trade finance and investment products, focusing on facilitating trade between Italy and Muslim-majority countries.

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