Wednesday, June 14, 2006
The UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer encourages London banks to make sure their services comply with Sharia law in order "to make Britain the gateway to Islamic finance and trade".
Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown speaks at the Islamic Finance and Trade Conference in London. Brown has backed a push by Muslim leaders here to make Britain the gateway to Islamic finance and trade.(AFP/John D McHugh)
[NYPOST]: June 14, 2006 -- LONDON - Britain's top finance official, Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, said yesterday he wants to make London the global capital for Islamic banking.
Brown said the U.K. Treasury is working on a package of measures that would legalize services including savings accounts and mortgages complying with Shariah law, which bans the practice of paying interest.
Some are included in the Finance Bill now being considered by the House of Commons.
With 1.8 million Muslims in the U.K., companies including HSBC Bank and Lloyds TSB Bank already offer some services that fit the rules.
"It is the vibrancy and dynamism of Britain's Muslims, combined with Britain's openness to the world and our historic ties with Muslim countries, that means the ambition you have set for yourselves - to make Britain the gateway to Islamic finance and trade - is one I believe Britain is well placed to achieve," Brown told a conference on Islamic banking in London.