Abu Dhabi: London is promoting Islamic banking which receives wide acceptance in the City and also acts as a bridge with the Islamic world, according to Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Nick Anstee.
"It does make a bridge with the Islamic world, at the end ..it is also money," Anstee told Gulf News on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi in response to a question. He said an Islamic bank set up seven years ago has 50,000 customers. "It shows the wide acceptance of Islamic banking," he said after addressing students of Zayed University (ZU) in the capital.
"Five principal organisations [apart from 17 other banks] operate in that market [Islamic banking] in London including multinationals like HSBC which is a key player in the sector," he said.
According to a report titled ‘Islamic Finance 2020' published by International Financial Services London, the UK placed eighth in global Islamic banking, is the leading Western country and Europe's premier centre with $19 billion (Dh69.78 billion) of reported assets, largely based on HSBC Amanah.
The Lord Mayor said London would cooperate with Abu Dhabi to develop public-private partnerships in infrastructure projects.
Dubai Dubai will remain a prominent business hub as it is a gateway to MENA [Middle East and North Africa] and Asian regions, according to Lord Mayor of the city of London Alderman Nick Anstee. It is like London being the gateway to Europe, he said in response to a question from the audience, after addressing the students of Zayed University. "Even we [people in London] cannot have a direct flight to Australia or west coast of America. But you people [in Dubai] can," he said.
- 22 banks in London including five that are fully sharia compliant, are more than in any other Western country. Two Islamic banks were granted licences in 2008.
- 20 Sukuk issues raising $ 11 billion listed on London Stock Exchange, exceeded only by Dubai Nasdaq
- Seven sharia compliant exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- 20 law firms supplying services in Islamic finance.
- Institutions offering educational and training products in Islamic finance.
Source: ‘Islamic Finance 2020' published by International Financial Services London.