More than 200 stakeholders from around the world will gather at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh today (Tuesday, September 1) to discuss untapped opportunities, convergence and collaboration within the £37 trillion ethical finance sector.
The two-day Scottish Government-hosted Global Ethical Finance Forum (GEFF), which is the first event of its kind, has been organised by Dubai-based ME Global Advisors in conjunction with the Islamic Finance Council UK (IFC) in Glasgow.
It has been designed to support the development of common practices and promote global industry standards, as well as breaking down barriers, such as geographical and cultural differences, in the ethical finance industry.
Topics will include building a responsible financial system that supports real economic development; opportunities, challenges and risks; convergence if the different spheres of ethical finance; the role of Islamic finance in the ethical space, and the influence of technology and disruptive innovation in facilitating responsible finance.
Speakers will include Keith Brown MSP, Lord Sheikh, His Royal Highness Emir Muhammad Sanusi II (former governor of the Bank of Nigeria), and Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, governor of the Bank of Malaysia.
Infrastructure secretary Keith Brown MSP said: “The growing awareness and interest in ethical finance across the world presents opportunities for Scotland. Sustainable, responsible investment is the correct route to economic recovery and our policy of inclusive growth is already being recognised internationally by economists and academics.
“The Scottish Government believes that tackling inequality and strengthening the economy must be done hand in hand: economic growth must not be at the expense of fairness. It is a challenge, but one we are determined to rise to.”
The IFC’s Edinburgh Ethical Finance Round Table (EFRT) series has recently grown to become the UK’s leading ethical finance discussion platform.
It has influenced the development of a government-backed steering group, which has been set up to assess the feasibility of a Scottish Ethical Finance Hub (SEFH).
If given the go-ahead, a SEFH would help facilitate commercial investment, research and development, and thought leadership to develop and test ethics-based banking and finance and enhance international engagement.