The UK is well placed to capitalise on the growth of Islamic finance, according to a new report out today.
Britain is currently the leading Western centre for Islamic finance, and the fourth biggest globally among non-Muslim-majority nations, it found.
The research, from TheCityUK, found that the market for services in the sector increased by 7.5 per cent in 2015 to $2 trillion (£1.5 trillion).
The UK has more than 20 banks that offer Islamic finance services – more than double the number in the US – five of which are Sharia law compliant.
“Currently, Sharia compliant assets make up just one per cent of global financial assets, yet around one in four of the world population is Muslim,” said Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK.
“There is enormous potential for further growth. Given the UK’s position as a world-leader in innovation and development within the sector, we’re well-placed to capture this opportunity.”
He added: “Infrastructure development is a key area where greater use of Islamic finance instruments could be encouraged.
“A number of significant projects across the country, including The Shard, Battersea Power Station regeneration and the Olympic Village in London and over 6,500 new homes in the North West and Midlands have seen Islamic finance play a significant funding role.
“Current trends suggest that this will continue to grow in the years ahead.”