Holton to Congress: Currently no disclosure or transparency standards for zakat, sharia productsJune 17, 2012
Chris Holton, vice president at the Center for Security Policy and editor of Shariah Finance Watch, recently briefed staff members from ten Congressional offices on sharia-compliant finance. During a question and answer period, staffers showed particular interest in the lack of disclosure and transparency requirements on Islamic finance.
One questioner asked Mr. Holton whether, even after all the new financial regulations of Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, there are still truly no reporting requirements for banks to disclose whether they have sharia portfolios and where their zakat expenditures are directed. You’ve got to listen to the answer during three minutes of powerful audio from the the briefing:
In an era where nearly every single aspect of the U.S. financial sector is taxed, regulated, and scrutinized, it is remarkable that banks are not required to tell investors whether the products marketed to them as “ethical” are actually sharia products, that the banks do not have to disclose what charities receive zakat from the Islamic bank divisions and sharia boards, and or even such basic information as whether the bank has a sharia division.