The chairman of the Islamic Insurance Association of London(IIAL) told a packed launch event on Thursday that London has the ability and willingness to drive the growth of Shariah compliant insurance products.
Max Taylor was speaking as he joined The Lord Mayor of London, Alan Yarrow, and CityUK ceo Chris Cummings, to launch the IIAL at the Mansion House in the heart of The City.
The Association has been formed to create a truly representative body to support the work of those in the UK re/insurance markets that are transacting Islamic finance.
Insurance and reinsurance has been the last of the financial services sectors in London to establish Shariah compliant operations and products. As such, it needs an association to provide a strong and authoritative voice with both UK and international governments and regulators.
With the Islamic nations of Asia and MENA now amongst the world’s biggest economic success stories, there is a real need for the provision of transparent and trusted Shariah compliant commercial insurance and risk products.
A respected international body such as IIAL is needed to ensure that the insurance industry plays a full role in the development of the Islamic Finance industry and its future regulation. It will also look to promote its membership and the expertise they can bring to their existing and potential clients across the world.
It will provide its membership with a platform to meet, network and have their say on how they wish to shape London as a world leading provider of Islamic insurance and risk solutions.
It will provide analysis on the development of the wider Islamic financial market and how insurance will and can play a part in that development.
The aim of the IIAL is to play a major part in the efforts to drive and develop principles for the transaction of Islamic and Shariah compliant commercial re/insurance business, creating a set of principles that can be used as a basis for a future international standard for Shariah insurance products and their transactions. The principle of putting the needs of the customer first is enshrined in the Shariah transaction.
Taylor said “Today’s launch of the Islamic Insurance Association of London comes in response to a clear need from the market both in the UK and globally. It comes at a time when the Islamic risk and insurance sector was undergoing a period of rapid growth. However, to enhance the sector and deliver change, there is a real need for greater expertise and knowledge and this is where the London Market can play a leading role.
The formation of the Islamic Insurance Association of London is a tangible sign that London has recognised it has to play a role in the development of insurance solutions to the Islamic world.
London’s tried and tested legal environment makes product development very straightforward, which has to be utilised. London also enjoys a non-discriminatory regulatory environment. It provides a level playing field that recognises the core values at the heart of the Islamic insurance proposition.”
He said the Islamic insurance sector remained one of the most dynamic sectors in the industry and there is a demand for high quality underwriting and capacity which is ready made for London to deliver.
“To be in a position make the most of those opportunities, London needs to engage with Islamic businesses and markets,” said Taylor. “The IIAL allows those in the London Market to speak with a single voice and our message is that we are serious about the development of the Islamic insurance industry.”