Plans to make London the greatest centre for Islamic finance in the western world were set out by the Prime Minister today.
Islamic finance – which does not allow interest payments – is growing much faster than traditional banking.
It is behind the funding of some of London’s best known modern landmarks as ITV News’ Economics Editor Richard Edgar reports:
Islamic finance has already helped fund redeveloping Battersea Power Station, the Olympic Village and the Shard.
However, David Cameron is seeking further tap into a rapidly expanding global market in Islamic investments, rising by 150 per cent since 2006 and expected to be worth £1.3 trillion next year.
He said he wanted London to be “the greatest centre for Islamic finance in the Western world” as political and business leaders gathered in London, as he seized the chance to continue a push to secure foreign investment to push domestic economic recovery.
“Already London is the biggest centre for Islamic finance outside theIslamic world,” he told the gathering of 1,800 political and businessleaders from over 115 countries.
“But today our ambition is to go further still. Because I don’tjust want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance in the Western world.I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the greatcapitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.”
Islamic leaders from around the world with Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a group photograph at the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum Credit: PA Wire
The Prime Minister announced a special type of bond which pays profits instead of interest to comply with Islamic law.
A “world first” set of indices at the London Stock Exchange to help investors identify faith-compliant firms and projects was also announced as well as a £4.5 million boost to a small business growth fund.