ISLAMIC BANKING – Status of Islamic Banking
When the concept of Islamic banking with its ethical values was propagated, financial circles the world over treated it as a utopian dream. Having lived for centuries under the valueless capitalist economic system, they asked what ethics had to do with finance?
Attitudes are changing gradually and in the last few years’ value neutral conventional banking has begun to trouble the conscience of an increasing number of people.
There is a reluctance to hand over the funds to banks and financial institutions that invest in companies engaged in unethical and socially harmful activities. The emerging Islamic banking scene has succeeded in achieving general acceptance.
Today, Islamic banking is estimated to be managing funds to the tune of US$ 200 billion. Its clientele are not confined to Muslim countries but are spread over Europe, United States of America and the Far East.
Islamic banking continues to grow at a rapid pace because of its value-orientated ethos that enables it to draw finances from both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Islamic bankers, keeping pace with sophisticated techniques and latest developments have evolved investment instruments that are not only profitable but are also ethically motivated.
Today, more than two hundred and fifty Islamic financial institutions are operating world-wide. The countries where Islamic financial institutions are functioning include:
Albania, Algeria, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Canada, Cayman Islands, North Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Gambia, Germany, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, The Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Trinidad & Tobago, United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharja), United Kingdom, United States, Yemen.
For more information see International Directory of Islamic Banks and Institutions 2000 and International Directory of Islamic Insurance 2000, published by the Institute.