Turkey and the UK to Strengthen Cooperation in Islamic Finance

John Nelson, Lloyds Chairman. Source: The Times

John Nelson, Lloyds Chairman. Source: The Times

Over the past year, international interest in participation banking has increased and its impact on the financial sector is obvious. The British Consulate General in Istanbul organized the Turkey – UK Finance Partnership conference in Istanbul on 18-19 February 2016; where experts and academics from the banking and insurance sectors gathered together and discussed the necessity for cooperation on Islamic finance.

The president of the Global Islamic Finance Development Center of the World Bank, Zamir Iqbal, said that Turkey has the infrastructure for Islamic banking already in place and cooperation between the United Kingdom and Turkey would be an important step towards further developing this sector, which has already grown so much in recent years.

Britain’s ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore has emphasized the good economic ties that U.K and Turkey enjoy; stressing that the “UK has a lot to offer to Turkey in terms of partnership. I think there is a huge potential for partnership around Islamic finance, participation banking and insurance where the UK and London is the leader in the Western world developing production”.

“At the center of that there is a real commitment on the U.K.’s part to support Turkey’s ambition to turn Istanbul an international financial center. You went through very difficult times in the 1990s and you reformed your banking system at the time so when we came to the big crisis in 2008, you did remarkably well” he added.

John Nelson, the chairman of Lloyds Bank, said that “In Istanbul alone $82.5 billion of the city’s projected annual GDP of around $500 billion is at risk from numerous threats with earthquakes, human pandemics, [and a] stock market crash are in the top five, in terms of a financial impact”. Recent reports want Lloyds, one of the biggest insurance networks in the world, to enter soon in the Turkish market. During the conference Mr. Nelson also added that “The Indian and Turkish markets top our list of priorities.”

Turkey’s ambassador to the UK, Abdurrahman Bilgiç, said that “There is every reason to believe that the relationship between Turkey and the UK. will become even stronger in the year ahead, and finance is one of the key areas which promises the best opportunities for strengthening our bilateral cooperation.”

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