Blue & Green Tomorrow

WWF releases sustainable finance guide for banks in Singapore

A new guide by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has been launched to help banks in Singapore implement environmental, social and governance (ESG) practice into their frameworks and develop sustainable solutions to risks of climate change and resource scarcity. The ESG Integration for Banks: A Guide to Starting Implementation gives advice to financial advisors and lenders in socially responsible banking. The guide maps out ‘how to’ steps for financial institutions in the earlier stages of their ESG journey. It shows them how to manage their risk exposure to unsustainable business practices and lead the trend toward green business.

Islamic investment becoming ‘financial powerhouse’ in the UK

Sharia-compliant investment is rapidly growing in the UK and has become a “financial powerhouse”, according to specialist asset manager London Central Portfolio (LCP). The UK government has taken a number of steps to promote London as a place for Muslims to invest, including launching an Islamic Finance Task Force and issuing Sharia bonds. According to LCP, London has taken in over £11.7 billion worth of Islamic investment in the last 10 years, making it the largest Islamic financial centre in the western world. However, there are still limited investment options in the sector when compared to the wider financial market. In order to address this issue, LCP and Simply Sharia have teamed up to organise a series of roadshows to look at the best Islamic investment opportunities in the market today. The events will be hosted by Signature Tax and will take place in Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester and London.

First UK Islamic ISA gives consumers ethical tax-free way to save

The Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) has announced the launch of the UK’s first Islamic ISA. The account offers UK consumers an alternative and tax-free way to save. ISAs allow consumers to hold cash, shares and unit trusts free of tax on dividends, interest and capital gains. The UK Islamic finance sector is expected to see rapid growth this year and be worth $2 trillion (£1.2 trillion) by the end of 2014. The popularity of Islamic investment is growing outside of the Muslim community. The IBB estimates that over the last year, around 87% of applications for fixed term deposit accounts were from non-Muslim customers.

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