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For Richer or for Poorer – Financial Exclusion of Muslims in the UK

November 1 @ 12:00 am

Muslims in the UK (3.9 million or 6.5% of the overall population, Census 2021) are one of the most disadvantaged ethnic/religious communities in the UK. 50% of Muslim households are in poverty – defined as earning less than 60% of the national median (Centre for Social Investigation, Nuffield College, 2015). The Financial Inclusion Commission (2024), which researches financial exclusion and aims to find solutions to the problem, states that 1 million adults in the UK today do not have access to a bank account. Additionally, only 22% of UK adults have more than £100 savings. On average, for Muslims in the UK the picture is even bleaker, given that as a group they have low earnings, qualifications, and employment rates, and are at high risk of poverty. According to the 2021 Census, people who identified as “Muslim” had the lowest percentage of people aged 16 to 64 years in employment (51.4% compared with 70.9% of the overall population). People who identified as “Muslim” also had the highest percentage living in “social rented” housing (26.6%), ten percentage points higher than the overall population.

However, financial services particularly catering to customers of Muslim faith with Islamic finance products that don’t contain interest or and avoid other issues prohibited by Islamic ethics are rare with very limited offerings for housing, small enterprise or student finance.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamic Finance (APPGIF) (https://appgief.org.uk/in-parliament/meetings-and-events/ ) issued a Call for Evidence in August 2023  with the full report expected in the summer in order to better understand the financial needs of Muslims in the UK.

By calling for evidence on this matter, the APPGIF aims to gather insights and perspectives to better understand the challenges and barriers faced by Muslim communities in accessing financial services. The inquiry seeks to identify ways to promote equal access, tailored products, and fair treatment within the financial sector, growing the UK financial market. By addressing a possible financial inclusion gap, the APPGIF aims to create a more inclusive and equitable financial landscape that supports the economic empowerment and social well-being of Muslims in the UK, delivering benefits to all.

A full findings report is expected for May 2024.


More details to follow / Date to be confirmed



November 1
12:00 am


To be confirmed
United Kingdom
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