Barclays Bank plc announced today that it has received approval to operate an Islamic Window in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), enabling it to base its global Islamic products team in the DIFC, and to offer Islamic financial products and services from there.
Well-established as a global leader in Islamic finance, Barclays has been active in promoting the Islamic banking sector for well over a decade.
This licence endorsement, granted by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), positions the global bank to further expand, its already diverse offering, in the Sharia-compliant financial services space.
“We are extremely pleased to hold an Islamic window licence from the DFSA,” said John Vitalo, Chief Executive Officer, Barclays Plc, MENA, “and we look forward to continuing to introduce innovative Shari’ah-compliant solutions from the DIFC”.
“As a long-standing international pioneer in Islamic finance, we have always recognised the importance of this industry,” Vitalo added. “Today, we are even more strongly positioned to meet the evolving needs of clients in this dynamic market – here in the UAE, throughout the MENA region, and across the world.”
Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer of the DIFC Authority, emphasised the importance of the Barclays licence to the ongoing development and diversification of the emirate’s onshore financial centre and the wider regional economy. He said: “During this period of renewed financial stability and expansion, and at a time when the Islamic finance sector continues to experience especially notable growth, we are confident that Barclays will continue to make a unique contribution to the industry by providing world-class Shari’ah-compliant solutions from the DIFC.”
“Operating from a DIFC Islamic platform will greatly enhance our ability to meet the needs of our regional and international clients seeking Shari’ah-compliant products and services,” added Dr Dominic Selwood, Head of Islamic products at Barclays. “Based on our global track record and unique local insights, we will continue to focus on providing best-in-class customised Islamic solutions.”
In recognition of its outstanding contribution to the industry, Barclays received two awards at the Islamic Finance News Awards Ceremony 2011, which took place earlier this year in Dubai. At this high-profile event, the investment bank collected both the “Sovereign Deal of the Year Award” for participating in the Government of Malaysia’s US$1.25 billion global sukuk and the “Syndicated Deal of the Year Award” for the US$1.4 billion project financing for the Jubail Refinery.