Unconventional banking in a conventional environment : Islamic banking and finance in the USA
Thesis (M.A.L.S.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. The main goal set for this work is to investigate and analyze the Islamic financial and banking market in the USA, specifically its development, evolution, and perspectives and to find out whether the USA is an attractive financial market to offer Shariah compliant products and services by examining the demand for Islamic financial services. To find out the answer a questionnaire was developed to gauge consumer perceptions and attitudes of Islamic Banking and its products. Although Islamic Banking and Finance has been a part of the American financial environment for quite some time, its development has been a relatively slow process. However, due to the recent economic shocks in the US, further development of the Islamic Banking industry has a much better chance of being more quickly and further integrated as people look for a more ethical and responsible method of banking.; The study provides evidence that Islamic Banking fits into the reality of traditional banking within the US but further future development of a regulatory structure is needed to make the integration more successful. Finally, as the data revealed consumers within the US are willing to do business with nontraditional forms of banking and financial institutions. However, the general public remains unaware of the alternative that Islamic Banking and Finance provides, as evident by responses to the accessibility and advertisement questions provided in the questionnaire. Although there are numerous Islamic Banking institutions in the US, the number is still too small and more importantly however is the fact that there is no national Islamic Banking institution in existence thereby severely limiting standardization. It is crucial that more Islamic Banks be created throughout the US and that at some point consolidation takes place. Furthermore, the lack of advertisement is also a worrisome aspect that needs to be addressed in order for Islamic Banking and Finance to gain more utility and acceptance. At no other time has there been such a potential opportunity for Islamic Banking and Finance to further establish and strengthen its foundations within the US. The only question now is whether it will take advantage of that opportunity.
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