The growing list of financial centres keen to emerge as Islamic finance hubs runs the danger of creating regulatory arbitrage as competing environments issue light touch regulation in order to attract business. A scandal such aswould likely to set the industry back decades.
Whilst new entrants are welcome into the growing Islamic finance industry, the ethical principles of Islamic Economics should be at the forefront of thought and intention rather than financial structuring.
Islamic finance has existed in Europe for more than forty years, with the United Kingdom one of the world's leading countries in the field, and others, such as Malta and Luxembourg, also at the forefront. In Italy, where the sector is more or less non-existent, results of the first experiments are now beginning to be seen. In 2009, for instance, Deloitte set up a sector dedicated to Islamic finance. ''At the moment, we are developing products compatible with Italian regulations,'' says Alberto Liotta, a director at the consultancy firm, a guest at a conference organised by Islamic Relief Italia. ''Attention is mainly focussed on conventional financing instruments, such as leasing, the concept of which can be brought closer to those of Islamic finance''.
What is the "elevator" pitch of Islamic finance to the non-Muslim and the sceptical Muslim? Why do news releases often become articles in Islamic finance?
Studio Associate Dagradi & Soleto of Milan, has recently concluded an agreement with Erremme Business Advisors, consulting firm specialised in Islamic Finance based in Malta and working in various Gulf countries. The common goal is to provide a legal and fiscal framework of Islamic Finance assistance in the Italian jurisdiction.