EMBARGO – 0001 (UK) Tuesday 23rdOctober 2018


‘The Edinburgh Finance Declaration’ – The Church of Scotland and the Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC) will officially unveil an interfaith shared values framework on ethical finance at a reception in Greyfriars Kirk this evening (Tuesday 23rdOctober 2018). The event marks the end of the international Ethical Finance 2018 conference that has convened 300 experts in Edinburgh this week.

The Declaration, thought to be the first of its kind globally, represents the culmination of the first stage of an historic collaboration initiated in February 2016 when the Church and UKIFC signed a partnership agreement to co-develop an ethical finance solution open to all society, regardless of faith or ethnicity, that is built upon the shared values between the two faith traditions.

The shared values framework emerged from efforts led by finance practitioners. This included in-depth interviews, consultation papers and a series of structured round tables held over a two year period. This process engaged over 200 senior stakeholders ranging from banking and finance experts to religious theologians, parliamentarians and academics from across the UK and abroad. Six core shared values emerged that were refined to create the Edinburgh Finance Declaration.

The shared values – which include Stewardship, Love of the Neighbour, Human Flourishing, Sustainability and Purposefulness, Justice and Equity, and Common Good – align contemporary trends in the financial markets such as climate, UN Sustainable Development Goals and impact investing. The Declaration is designed to inform the development of financial products that support an ethical economy. It also provides a values framework that can inform organisational cultures to help rebuild the loss of trust in financial institutions and markets that has arisen since the global financial crisis.

Rev Dr Richard Frazer, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council said:

“Since the global economic crash in 2008 public trust in financial institutions has been shaken, with seemingly little change as a result. From our Christian and Islamic faith traditions we believe that a different world of finance is possible, one in which ethics and economics go hand in hand. We believe that these shared values provide a solid foundation from which we might arrive at a financial sector that contributes to the flourishing of all.”

Faith organisations are estimated to command assets valued at $7 trillion. That jumps to $13 trillion when charities, endowments and philanthropic entities are included. As a consequence, these bodies are well placed to influence investment decisions and to demand that financial institutions are responsive to the values set out in the Declaration. One obvious starting point would be making a commitment to advancing the common good by adopting the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

UKIFC Advisory Board member Omar Shaikh outlined the next stage in the journey: “Faith groups have always had an important role in promoting social causes. Moving forward, taking these values coupled with strong business acumen and a solid commercial approach we hope to develop an ethical finance solution that is both commercially sustainable and creates positive societal impact.”

The Declaration, which forms part of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, is a symbolic development sending a strong and positive message of interfaith collaboration and furthering Scotland’s growing reputation for innovation and ethical finance.


Further Information


Chris Tait

Project Manager, UKIFC

(m) 07931 103573


Helen Silvis

Communications Manager

Church of Scotland

(m) 07817 995887




“A remarkable and admirable document, reflecting very great credit on both the collaborative process and fine draftsmanship that generated it.”

Sir David Alan Walker, Former Chairman Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Spearheaded Walker Report of corporate governance


“This collaboration is an important example of how different communities can not only talk of, but demonstrate shared values. It is also very encouraging to see the role the faith communities can play in inspiring a more inclusive, ethical and responsible financial system.”

Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby


“The Christian and Islamic faith traditions share a commitment to economic justice…. By collaborating and “putting our money where our morals are” we have an opportunity to live out our common values and make a tangible change for those most affected by poverty.”

Rt. Rev Dr Angus Morrison, Ex- Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland


“This is powerful example that many globally can take from, including us in Nigeria. Well done to the Islamic Finance Council UK and the Church of Scotland for showing their vision, leadership and bravery.”

His Highness Emir Sanusi Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria


“We were delighted and astonished to discover that the Church of Scotland and UKIFC had been working together to produce a theological statement of core values. Bringing faiths together in ethical finance has never been done and this work is very impressive.”

Martin Palmer, Secretary-General, Alliance of Religions and Conservation


About the Global Ethical Finance Initiative

The Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) is a global movement and co-ordinated programme of ethical finance projects and activities originating from Scotland. GEFI consolidates some of the pioneering ethical finance work being undertaken in Scotland under one brand to create a compelling global proposition.


About the UKIFC

The UKIFC was established in 2005 as a specialist advisory and developmental body focused on promoting and enhancing the global Islamic and ethical finance industry. As a dynamic and forward-thinking not-for-profit organisation the UKIFC’s Advisory Board Members, who provide pro bono support, have defined and evolved the role the organisation plays in making a tangible impact in the global Islamic and ethical finance sectors. Principle service areas are: Advisory, Ethical Finance, Training and Awareness and Thought Leadership.

The UKIFC has been recognised globally for its work in promoting shared values and increasing connectivity between ethical and Islamic finance stakeholders across the UK. For more than 5 years the UKIFC has been leading an award winning debate on ethical finance through a series of events based in Edinburgh.


About the Church of Scotland

The Church of Scotland is Scotland’s national church and is also one of the UK’s largest charities. It serves almost 400,000 members, with more regularly involved in local congregations and our community work. Within the organisation, the Church has around 800 ministers serving in parishes and chaplaincies, supported by professional and administrative staff. The Church has a proud tradition of working to benefit those less well off in society, and campaigns on a range of economic and social welfare issues.