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Value Through Diversity: Microfinance and Islamic Finance and Global Banking


  • Nicoletta Ferro

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)


Internet resources, extended media coverage and international organizations’ reports recently witness the increasing interest of western banks in new models of finance, particularly Islamic finance and microfinance. This new trend is not only channeled through the frame of corporate social responsibilities programs and policies or limited to ad hoc financial institutions (like microcredit banks or Islamic banks) as it is entering the financial offer of mainstream banks. The paper primarily outlines that many elements of microfinance could be considered consistent with the broader goals of Islamic banking. Apart from pure economic considerations which are not the aim of this analysis, the paper supports the thesis that by addressing new markets and embracing unconventional financial proposals, the global banking sector can contribute to the quest for diversity-oriented policies posed by an increasingly globalised scenario. The consequences this new trend is likely to have on inner banking structures are still unknown and are likely to interest the issue of wealth distribution. Moreover, from a more general point of view, by showing that even different moral ethos deep rooted in different cultural paradigms can be as profitable and available as western capitalistic ones, the banking sector can play a potential role in disseminating awareness on specific cultural and religious issues, resulting in increased integration of Muslim communities and low income investors in the long run and supporting commercial banks the close relation between economy and culture.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicoletta Ferro, 2005. "Value Through Diversity: Microfinance and Islamic Finance and Global Banking," Working Papers 2005.87, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.87

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman, 2010. "Islamic microfinance: an ethical alternative to poverty alleviation," Humanomics: The International Journal of Systems and Ethics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 26(4), pages 284-295, November.
    2. Ahmad, Mohd. Izhar & Masood, Tariq & Khan, Mohd Saeed, 2010. "Problems and Prospects of Islamic Banking: a case Study of Takaful," MPRA Paper 22232, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 09 Mar 2010.

    More about this item


    Microfinance; Islamic finance; Diversity; Multiculturalism; Global banking;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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