Businesses encouraged to enter Islamic finance

An agreement has been signed to encourage businesses in the West Midlands to take advantage of the booming Islamic finance market.

The West Midlands Business Council has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Muslim Council of Britain – which represents more than 500 local, regional and national Muslim association and institutions – for the two bodies to work together.

Their work will include training professionals so more firms can get involved in the commercial opportunities of the sector, which has grown massively in the UK in recent months and years.

Mohammed Nazir, the head of Islamic finance at West Midlands Business Council, said the agreement signed yesterday would be a huge opportunity for the regional economy.

He added: “The agreement marks a new stage in bringing the whole community together in our work in developing the Islamic finance industry.
“Islamic finance works on the basis of profit sharing and ethical investment principles and – as a direct result – the share of the Islamic finance market has grown while the rest of the financial services industry has been buffeted by the winds of the global credit crunch.

“Birmingham and the West Midlands have shown itself to be a European centre of excellence for Islamic finance with the national headquarters of the Islamic Bank of Britain being located in Edgbaston and with a range of technical Islamic finance practitioners located across the West Midlands.

“Now, with the Muslim Council of Britain, we are moving one step further in signalling to the rest of the country and the global Islamic finance industry that the UK, with the City of London and the West Midlands, is the place to do business when it comes to Islamic finance.

“The growth of this sector could lead to well paid quality jobs being created here in the Midlands”.

The signing of the memorandum came on the same day the Business Council was at the World Islamic Banking Conference in London to promote the region.

Dr Muhammed Abdul Bari, the secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, added: “By working with other institutions such as the West Midlands Business Council, the Muslim Council of Britain seeks to share its expertise and unique resources in the field of Islamic finance in the interests of the common good.

“Islamic finance has the real potential to demonstrate to the world the injustice of interest based methods of financing. It is available to everyone – whether or not they are Muslim


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