Shared Values Framework for Ethical Finance

On the 22nd March 2016 the Church of Scotland and the Islamic Finance Council UK signed a partnership agreement to co-develop an ethical finance solution open to all society, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background and based on the shared values between the faith traditions. As part of this agreement a series of workshops were initiated to identify and crystalise the shared values and this draft has been compiled based on feedback from the earlier workshops. More information on these can be found at  www.ukifc.com/ethical . This document is a working draft for discussion purposes and should be read in conjunction with the SVF Guidance Notes.

 Together, Islam and Christianity represent over half of the world’s population. They are influential in informing not only the value systems in countries where they constitute the majority of the population, but also in shaping the wider moral landscape within which the rest of the people on the planet live their lives.

The full framework is available to download here.

A summary of the framework is available to download here.

In 2013 the UKIFC held a round table with the Archbishop of Canterbury along with leaders from across the faiths to explore shared values towards ethical finance.

After three years of positive dialogue in March 2016 UKIFC and the Church of Scotland announced a pioneering initiative to work collaboratively to produce an interfaith shared values framework that could underpin the development of an ethical financial solution based on shared values and open to all in society, regardless of faith or ethnic background.

Collectively we share a belief that existing financial institutions have, in recent years, lost their social conscience. Following the banking crisis of 2008, further ongoing scandals of mis-selling payment protection and interest rate fixing have raised the question if reforms have worked.

We felt that something had to be done and Scotland, with its proud heritage in ethical finance that includes the origins of the savings bank movement pioneered by Rev. Henry Duncan of the Church of Scotland, was the place to do it.

The Edinburgh Declaration is the shared values framework that has been developed from the feedback received from a structured programme of engagement (including discussions, workshops and market studies) that sought input from theologians, well-informed faith-thinkers, leading finance practitioners and academics. Although driven by Islam and Presbyterian faiths the Declaration reflects views from across the Abrahamic faiths. The Declaration will provide the guiding principles that underpin the formulation of a financial product or service.

The shared values between the Christian, Islamic and the other Abrahamic faiths are well aligned to underpin ethical finance. Having this discussion has the ability to bring faiths together – not just here in Scotland, but across the world.”

Humza Yousaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice

Background Documents

In order to identify and articulate the shared values we held four workshops / round tables bringing together global theologians, leading industry practitioners and well-informed faith-thinkers, to explore and debate faith reflections on ethical finance and economics. The documents below provide further details on each of the meetings.