MCB Welcomes Stamp Duty Changes Announced in Budget

09 Apr 2003

The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes the changes in the Stamp Duty regime announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer today. He announced in the Budget that the Government is to introduce new legislation in the Finance Bill which will remove the additional stamp duty cost burden incurred in connection with alternative property finance arrangements which are expected to include most Islamic home finance products. These new measures, which reduce the number of incidents upon which Stamp Duty is charged, will pave the way for the launch of Islamic home finance products in the UK, benefiting customers who want Shari’a compliant financing for the purchase of residential property. The relief will apply from 1 December 2003. This will go a long way towards fulfilling a key Muslim community wish to be able to utilise competitive Islamic Home Finance products in the UK.

The Chancellor’s announcement comes at the culmination of a long and fruitful process initiated by the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Edward George. Under his able leadership, a working party chaired by Mr Andrew Buxton, Senior Advisor to Barclays Bank, and comprising professionals, representatives of banks, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and Muslim community representatives have liaised with various government departments to systematically address issues and regulation changes needed to make Islamic Home Finance products viable in the UK.

Following the changes to the Stamp Duty regime, the working party will continue to address other issues identified in its initial report. Progress has already been made on most of these issues and today’s announcement is sure to impart momentum to their satisfactory resolution in the coming months.

The Muslim Council of Britain wishes to thank Sir Edward George, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mr Andrew Buxton, the Chair of the Working Party, and all other members of the group for their diligent effort to bring these required changes to fruition. The Muslim Council of Britain, as a member of the working group, also likes to put on record its appreciation of the very welcoming reception and constructive exchanges received by the group from all official departments and other organisations during consultations to address the key issues identified. A special word of thanks is due to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Treasury for including the changes in the Finance Bill.

The Muslim Council of Britain hopes that the changes announced today will lead to the launch of a range of home finance products by British financial institutions in the very near future and enhance London’s reputation as a leading innovative financial centre.

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For further information please contact: The Muslim Council of Britain, Unit 5, Boardman House, 64 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 1NT,
Mr Iqbal Asaria, Chair of the MCB Business & Economics Committee, Tel: 0208 861 2012 Fax: 0208 432 0587, Email: media@mcb.org.uk Website: http://www.mcb.org.uk