An Empirical Investigation of the Regulatory and Non-Regulatory Challenges of the UK Islamic Retail Banking

Abdelhafid Benamraoui, Elias Boukrami, Carl Dafgard, Yusuf Karbhari
Published Online: December 2020

The paper examines the regulatory and non-regulatory challenges facing the growth of Islamic retail banking in the UK. Our analyses reveal that policy-makers and regulators in the UK have taken many actions to encourage the growth of Islamic finance. However, despite the suitable regulatory environment, UK Islamic retail banks have so far failed to convince consumers of the credibility of their services due to the questionable structure of their products. Intriguingly, the current system of Shar¯ı‘ah assurance is perceived to have several weaknesses which could perhaps lead to ambiguity, confusion and loss of credibility in the eyes of consumers. Our findings also reveal several key religio-ethical considerations. In particular, we highlight that the future of UK Islamic retail banking is bleak unless these issues are urgently tackled by creating a more transparent Islamic banking system and improving the current structure of Shar¯ı‘ah-compliant products to preserve the expected ethical and societal legitimacy of Islamic banks. KAUJIE Classification: H13, H54 JEL Classification: G3, K2


Islamic Retail Banking, Ethics, Regulation, Shar¯ı‘ah Assurance, Shar¯ı‘ah Compliance