What exactly is ethical finance? Is Islamic finance ethical? Is ethical finance Islamic? Islamic finance is routinely described as ethical. This reflects the fact that self-described 'ethical' finance is a large and growing sector of the market. It has a very positive image with which Islamic financial services seek to associate themselves. Yet the claim that 'Islamic' and 'ethical' are synonymous is rarely seriously examined, and nor is the claim that there exists a consistent and generally understood definition of ethical practice. This book examines a wide range of financial institutions in Britain which fall broadly within the ethical sector, considering the nature of their principles and practices, and how they relate to Islamic models and to Muslim communities. It offers first systematic comparison of the principles and functioning of Islamic and secular ethical financial services. It includes chapters on retail banking, investment funds, building societies, charities and social enterprise. It uses the UK as a case study due to its well-developed ethical and Islamic financial services sectors.
Elaine Housby completed a PhD on the subject of Islamic finance in Britain at the Open University, after previously obtaining degrees involving varying combinations of politics, history, religion and Arabic.