London-based Yielders has become the first Islamic FinTech firm to be given full authorisation by Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority.
The company, which gives retail investors exposure to the property market with as little as £100, says the approval signals the UK’s intent to become a destination for FinTech and Islamic finance.
Following the Brexit vote, Britain has been making moves to retain its financial sector muscle before splitting from its biggest trading partner, the European Union.
Irfan Khan, Yielders founding director, told Reuters: “They (the UK government) believe that outside the Middle East, the UK is the capital of FinTech for Islamic finance.
“There’s certainly movement in the UK to try to promote Islamic FinTech, and for FinTech firms in the UK to show the route forward for a lot of the Middle Eastern market.”
Before being given full authorisation by Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, Yielders had to get approval from Britain’s Islamic Finance Council, which certified the company’s business practices were compliant with Sharia law.
In the past, according to Khan, the restrictions on borrowing and potential gambling had made Islamic finance uncompetitive.
But FinTech solutions had allowed some firms, like Yielders, to mitigate the risks usually associated with trading in a country where Islam is a minority religion.