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Baroness Warsi says Islamic Finance can be major source of credit

UEL students

Conference discusses role of Islamic Finance in alleviating poverty

A former Cabinet member has urged the Islamic Finance community to become the biggest source of credit in the UK.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi was speaking at ‘Islamic Finance Talent - East and West’ – a conference organised by the University of East London (UEL) in conjunction with several financial institutions.

“Providing credit is something instinctively British and could do with a boost,” said Baroness Warsi, who called on Islamic financial institutions to help the most marginalised sectors of society, including the non-Muslim community.

The Baroness, who served in David Cameron’s cabinet from 2010-14 and is a former co-chair of the Conservative Party, was one of several high-profile speakers at the event which offered solutions to improve the quality of education, training, support and expertise in the area of Islamic Finance. 

The conference brought together corporate Islamic finance leaders from banking, insurance and law as well as academics, business school representatives, recruitment consultants and human resources and talent managers.

Baroness Warsi said that providing people with a stable, fair and supportive form of banking as well as support when they borrow had become a human rights issue.

“The best way to empower somebody is to give them financial standing, a bank account, and the ability not to be in debt,” said Baroness Warsi. “I think that loan sharks are an abuse of someone’s human rights. Huge debt is a sign of how people’s lives have spiralled out of control.”

The conference was organised by Islamic Finance People in partnership with UEL’s Islamic Finance Advisory Board as well as the Finance Accreditation Agency of Malaysia, INCIEF, the Global University of Islamic Finance, Durham Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance, and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.