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Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE
03 June 2005
Lebanon develops Islamic Finance Qualification with
UK Securities & Investment Institute


The UK Securities & Investment Institute (SII) and Lebanon’s Ecole Superieure des Affaires (ESA) have announced the joint development of a new specialist qualification which has been initiated by the Central Bank of Lebanon (Banque due Liban).

The Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) will initially be offered in the UK and Lebanon with a view to expanding throughout the Arab League, Europe and France.

The IFQ will assure regulators, employers and consumers that candidates and employees can perform their role according to the Islamic banking requirements. The qualification will meet the Level 3 qualification standard on the UK classified National Qualification Framework (NQF). This is an initial qualification and other levels within the IFQ suite will be developed. Subject to demand, these later modules will provide advanced certification for specific job activities.

ESA has recently set up an Islamic finance foundation “Al Multaqa” in Lebanon which will run a specialist finance programme and the new Islamic Finance Qualification will be taught at this foundation.

The IFQ will be delivered and assessed in both English and Arabic via computer based testing. Successful candidates will be entitled to membership status of the UK Securities & Investment Institute. It is envisaged that the IFQ will qualify candidates for roles as investment professionals specialising in Islamic finance and Sharia standards.

Mr Alain Balian, Vice Governor of the Banque du Liban said, “As a regulator we are delighted to be supporting the development of the IFQ. It is an important step in the establishment of the Islamic finance industry as a mainstream alternative in corporate and consumer finance, insurance and savings.”

Simon Culhane, Chief Executive of the Securities & Investment Institute said, “We are very pleased to be working with ESA and the Banque du Liban in developing this important qualification for this growing market. We understand how vital it is for many customers to be assured that their banking needs are being met in accordance with Islamic tradition and therefore customers will have the confidence of knowing that those bankers who have the IFQ qualification comply with Islamic banking requirements.”

Mr Roger Ourset, General Director of the Ecole Superieure des Affaires (ESA) said, “Our practitioners and legal experts in Islamic banking will work closely with the Securities & Investment Institute in developing this qualification. We are delighted to have the Institute as our chosen partner for this project.”

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*Arab League is defined as: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

**The Ecole Superieure des Affaires (ESA) was founded by the Lebanese and French governments in 1996 to provide Beirut with a world-class business training centre. ESA is jointly owned by both the French and Lebanese governments and managed by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Governor of Banque du Liban represents the Lebanese government and the French Ambassador to Lebanon represents the French government.

***ESA is already accredited by SII: it is an accredited training provider and is able to offer SII qualifications in Lebanon, Arab League countries and France. It is envisaged the IFQ will also be delivered by ESA in these territories following the pilot.

For further information contact Lora Benson, Press Officer, on tel 07801 521034 or lora.benson@sii.org.uk

The Securities & Investment Institute (www.sii.org.uk) was formed in 1992 by members of the London Stock Exchange. Its mission is to set standards of professional excellence and integrity for the securities and investment industry, providing qualifications and promoting the highest level of competence to its members, firms and others.

The Securities & Investment Institute is now the pre-eminent professional body for those who work in the securities and investment industry in the UK. Over 16,000 members benefit from a programme of professional training and development. The Institute is the principal awarding body for industry qualifications and last year its examinations attracted 35,000 candidates.

The Securities & Investment Institute is also a registered charity.

Charitable Objectives:

· to promote for the public benefit, the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the field of securities and investments
· to develop high ethical standards for practitioners in securities and investments and to promote such standards in the UK and overseas.
·to act as an authoritative body for the purpose of consultation and research in matters of education or public interest concerning investment in securities