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Retail Islamic finance in Ireland: obstacles and opportunities

November 24, 202111:00 a.m.
Casa Árabe’s YouTube channel. 11:00 a.m.
In English.

This round table discussion will be broadcast deferred on our Youtube channel on November 24. It analyzed the changes undertaken in Ireland in recent years to allow for transactions based on Islamic finance inside that country.

Over the last decade, the Irish authorities have introduced several measures to accommodate and regulate Islamic finance activities under Irish law. These measures have focused primarily on taxing certain Islamic financing structures and have been designed to better align their tax treatment with conventional alternatives. While some shortcomings continue to exist in terms of the current treatment of Islamic finance in Irish law, the measures implemented up to now have been welcomed by the industry and help to position Ireland as an economy where Islamic finance activities are encouraged.

According to the results of Philip Lee’s 2019 Islamic Finance Survey, there is an overwhelming desire within the Muslim community in Ireland for Islamic mortgages and other financial products. Based on this survey, Simon O’Neill, a partner in the Banking and Finance Unit at Dublin law firm Philip Lee, believes this is a huge investment opportunity in the market.

Moreover, given the context created by Brexit, UK-based institutions may lose some of their ability to conduct business in the EU. In this respect, Ireland offers a stable market and a similar legal system with untapped demand for Islamic finance, while allowing these institutions to continue having access to the other EU27 markets.

This discussion analyzed the industry’s current status in Ireland and examine the various Islamic mortgage alternatives available, the current taxation of these products, the current barriers to development for retail Islamic finance in Ireland, the room for improvement, and the opportunities and challenges facing Islamic finance in that jurisdiction.

Organized within the framework of the SCIEF-Casa Árabe Observatory of Islamic Finance in Spain. Taking part in the round table are Edana Richardson, a professor of Law at Maynooth University, and Simon O’Neill, a Banking and Finance partner at Philip Lee, with moderation by Gonzalo Rodríguez, director of SCIEF (IE University) and an initial reaction by Olivia Orozco, Casa Árabe’s Training and Economic Coordinator.

The SCIEF-Casa Árabe Observatory of Islamic Finance in Spain is a group for analysis and consultation that gathers knowledge about current affairs in Islamic finance. It includes the main experts, consultancies, law firms and banking institutions working in or specializing on this subject in Spain.
Retail Islamic finance in Ireland: obstacles and opportunities

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