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Double duty stamped out for Muslims

The Treasury&#39s pledge to scrap the double charging of stamp duty on Islamic mortgages has been welcomed by the mortgage industry as a step towards a level playing field with non-muslims.
Under current regulations muslims are effectively forced to rent their property from a specialist financier because they are unable to pay interest under Islamic law. The lender often sells the property for the same price but charges additional rent for a certain period of time, thereby causing stamp duty to be charged twice.
But under proposals outlined in the Budget this double charging will be abolished.

The move has been welcomed by Council of Mortgage Lenders, which says stamp duty is one of the most significant hurdles to the development of more widespread Islamic home finance. However, Charcol warns that ironing out the technicalities in the legislation could take time.

Andrew Buxton, who chaired a Bank of England working party addressing the issue, says: “This will help make the mortgage market fairer and more accessible to the muslim community in the UK.”

Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says: “It will help those who haven&#39t bought a house because of the regulation but it could be a long time before it is introduced.”


Equitable shows signs of life

One of the great ironies of the market turbulence is that Equitable Life is now outperforming other life funds following its switch out of equities and into bonds at the beginning of 2002.Chairman Vanni Treves, says Equitable is stabilising and out of intensive care although it still has some way to go.Equitable says it has […]

Gartmore head of sales leaves the company

Mike Smith, head of sales at Gartmore, has left the company by mutual consent.Smith, who had been with the company for 10 months, left this week following a restructuring of the fund manager&#39s sales team. Gartmore is implementing a flatter management structure to focus on key IFA relationships.Smith had joined in July from HSBC.

A consumer&#39s view

As the pension crisis deepens, two new reports – from the Association of Consulting Actuaries and the National Consumer Council – are very critical of the Government&#39s proposals contained in the Pensions Green Paper.Both reports come to the same conclusion – that the proposals do little to reduce the complexity of pensions and that they […]

Inside edge

It doesn&#39t seem that long ago that I was sending a memo to our national salesforce advising that our remaining two participant lenders had withdrawn from the equity-release market. We had been arranging such schemes for clients from the mid to the late 1980s and providing appropriate specialist advice.Many schemes were launched, including the less […]


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