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Geoff Cook, Jersey Finance

Jersey Finance welcomes HM Treasury’s plans to make UK Western hub for Islamic finance


Geoff Cook (pictured), Chief Executive of Jersey Finance, comments on HM Treasury’s plans to cement Britain’s position as Western hub for Islamic finance…

The USD1.3 trillion global Islamic finance sector is once again on the rise, with growth now being seen outside the traditional heartlands of the Middle East and South East Asia. The announcement by the United Kingdom government of its inaugural GBP200m Sukuk issue is perhaps the most interesting example of this growth, and today’s announcement that the UK will go even further by providing Shariah compliant support for British exporters shows how seriously the UK is taking its commitment to becoming an international centre for Islamic finance.    
Jersey is also seeing expanded activity in delivering Shariah compliant products and is well placed to compliment and help develop the UK’s Islamic finance ambitions. We have already seen several Islamic institutions in the UK benefit from the services offered by Jersey, which unlike competing jurisdictions has not had to change any of its laws to permit Islamic finance transactions and investments. Gatehouse Bank, one of the five Islamic banks registered in the UK, has issued two Sukuk through a Jersey Protected Cell Company structure. Also, alongside Sidra Capital (a Saudi Arabian Shariah-compliant financial services company), Gatehouse established the Sterling UK Real Estate Fund (SURF) to invest in Shariah-compliant commercial real estate in the UK. 
Add to this the depth of knowledge, expertise and experience in Jersey relating to the establishment of Shariah compliant structures, together with its long standing connections and relationship with the city of London and other financial centres, leads to the expectation that Jersey will continue to grow and develop this area.

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