Islamic fintech

Relaunch of UK Islamic Fintech Panel; Al Rayan partners with the broker

Ahead of the UK Fintech Week, the independent group of Islamic finance and fintech practitioners has reconvened under the UK Islamic FinTech Panel (the Panel) chaired by Harris Irfan.

The Panel, formed last year, aims to promote the UK Islamic fintech sector and bring together thought leaders to support the development of the sector. In 2019, the Panel aims to build on the work in the previous year with a greater focus on connecting entrepreneurs with the government, and building international connections.

The achievements of the Panel to date include providing networking opportunities for the UK Islamic fintech community, involvement with the UK government and creating international connections. The panel aims to continue building momentum for the Islamic fintech sector by leveraging London’s leading position as a global fintech hub and a center for Islamic finance in the western hemisphere.

Al Rayan Bank announced a partnership with Alexander Hall, one of the UK’s largest mortgage brokers. Alexander Hall is the sister company of Foxtons Estate Agents and has been added to Al Rayan’s panel of mortgage brokers helping Al Rayan increase awareness of its home finance products. Alexander Hall as an intermediary firm will refer domestic Islamic home finance enquiries within the UK, as well as handle enquiries from expats in GCC countries who wish to invest in UK property from overseas.

This article was first published in Islamic Finance news Volume 16 Issue 20 dated the 22nd May 2019.

Suhail Ahmad is a partner at Gateway Islamic Advisory. He can be contacted at [email protected].

UK to become Islamic fintech centre

Islamic financial technology (fintech) companies are aiming to disrupt traditional Islamic banks. Like conventional fintechs, Islamic fintechs face similar challenges dealing with regulatory challenges, hiring and retaining talent, raising funds from investors, acquiring customers and expanding into other regions.

At the Innovate Finance Global Summit held in London last month, Islamic fintech was key topic of discussion at a roundtable hosted by Bahrain Economic Development Board and attended by thought leaders from both Bahrain including the recently launched Fintech Bay accelerator and representatives from the UK Islamic Fintech Panel. The roundtable discussed ways to support the success and development of Islamic fintech companies in the two countries.

Photo credits: Bahrain Economic Development (Innovate Finance Conference)

Innovate Finance is an independent membership association that represents the UK’s global FinTech community. Founded in 2014 and supported by the City of London and Broadgate, Innovate Finance is a not-for-profit that advances the country’s leading position in the financial services sector by supporting the next generation of technology-led financial services innovators.

Considering the UK is second only to Malaysia with the number of Islamic fintechs according to IFN Fintech, it is no surprise that in addition to Bahrain, representatives from Abu Dhabi and Dubai fintech accelerators were exhibiting at the Summit showcasing the opportunities available at their centres for UK fintechs.

This article was first published in Islamic Finance news Volume 15 Issue 17 dated the 25th April 2018.