Close to two-thirds of UK investment advisers surveyed admitted their limited knowledge of Islamic fund providers has prevented them from recommending products, according to a new report from Islamic asset manager BLME.

The knowledge gap persists despite a fifth of the 200 respondents to the survey believing their clients would be interested in learning about Islamic funds, it continues.

The study was conducted by CoreData and commissioned by BLME to explore advisor attitudes to non-traditional investments found that just 7 per cent of those surveyed said they are familiar with Islamic investments.

The survey found that advisers are unsure how to classify Islamic investment products, with 40 per cent stating that they were not sure whether such products were ‘alternative’ or not.

Almost 60 per cent of the advisers who recommend alternatives put forward ethical investments, which BLME claimed share many characteristics with Islamic investments.

Nigel Denison, head of asset management at BLME, said: “The results of this research reaffirm our belief that Islamic funds have been largely overlooked to date. Advisers appear to have retreated into the products they are most familiar with in response to the market tumult of recent years.

“This highlights the importance of Islamic fund providers helping to educate investors, particularly as in this case a significant number of respondents said clients would be interested in learning more.”

Mr Denison believes that the opportunity for greater take-up of Islamic products among advisers lies in their endorsement of ethical products.

He said: “Focusing on the parallels between ethical and Islamic investing may help to bridge the knowledge gap that currently exists and overcome some of the common misconceptions about Islamic investments.”

Published: 16 August 2012
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