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It's not about the money - a discussion of Islamic fintech

12 October, 2022Digital Webinar
Speakers: Andrew Cunningham, Chairman at Editorial Board for the Centre for Governance, LIBF
Areeb Siddiqui, Founder & CEO, Kestrl
Helene Panzarino, Fintech Programme Director, The London Institute of Banking & Finance

Most of us would say we want personalised, transparent, ethical and equitable financial services, but we confine our investigation and engagement to the organisations, products and services that we come across in our current ecosystem. Islamic fintech, compliant with Sharia law, aims to put that into practice - and it is widening its reach as people look for sustainable financial products that meet their overall financial needs.

In Islamic finance, money has no intrinsic value. It's just a way to exchange goods and services. That's why Islamic finance neither pays nor accepts interest, aims to avoid harm and encourages the sharing of profit and risks.

Those stated aims are often met with cynicism and misunderstanding. There are around 1.5 bn Muslims in the world, so Islamic financial services are increasingly larger businesses . The naysayers ask whether any bank that sets out to make a profit can, at bottom, be any different to mainstream finance. If nothing else, how can Islamic finance function in a wider world built on debt and interest payments?

This webinar examined how much we really understand when it comes to Islamic fintech and finance and how much is misunderstood. We asked how Islamic banks are funded, identified the gaps in the ecosystem, and considered what the future of this dynamic area of financial services and fintech might hold.