Islamic Lifestyle Islamic Finance

Yielders becomes first Shariah-compliant fintech firm to get UK regulatory approval

Photo: Screenshot from Yielders website. Courtesy Yielders

Equity-based property crowdfunding platform Yielders has become the first Shariah-compliant fintech firm to be given regulatory approval by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The London-based start-up allows cash-based investments from as low as 100 British pounds ($124) to get retail investors on the property ladder.

FCA guidelines demand Yielders’ compliance based on three categories: business model, client money handling, and financial promotion.

In February Yielders announced it had received Shariah certification, which was managed by the Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC).

Yielders CEO and founding director Irfan Khan told Salaam Gateway that FCA requirements will not affect the start-up’s Shariah compliance. “Our commitment to use accredited Shariah-certified auditors for our annual audit will continue and complement our regulatory and statutory commitments,” said Khan.

The FCA set regulations on crowdfunding activity in 2014.

Elsewhere in the Islamic economy, Malaysia introduced a regulatory framework for equity-based crowdfunding in 2015 followed by one for debt-based crowdfunding in 2016. The country’s Securities Commission has approved licences for debt-based and equity-based crowdfunding platforms. However, only equity-based platforms have been launched and debt-based platforms await the regulator’s green light for their release.

In the UAE, Dubai’s Beehive, which is also Shariah-compliant, became the first crowdfunding platform to be regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority last month.

(Reporting by Emmy Abdul Alim)

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