Toronto (June 7, 2013) – Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) is pleased to learn that the Ontario Government has signaled its commitment to position Toronto as the North American hub for Alternative (Islamic) Financing.

As part of the Ontario Government’s Open for Business Strategy, and in partnership with the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA), the government recently released its Business Sector Strategy for the Financial Services Sector.  In this report, the Ontario Ministry of Finance has agreed to participate in any potential working group led by the federal government to review tax and regulatory issues related to alternative financing (Islamic financing).

“This represents a significant opportunity for Canada’s financial sector,” said Jeffrey Graham, BLG partner and co-chair of the TFSA Islamic Finance Working Group (IFWG).  “The collaboration between industry and government with these types of initiatives will enable Toronto to be a leader in Alternative (Islamic) Financing.”

Alternative (Islamic) financing represents a significant opportunity for Canada’s financial sector, as Islamic banking assets have reached US$1.1 trillion in 2012.  It is Standard and Poor’s expectation that the $1 trillion global alternative (Islamic) financing industry will grow 20 per cent annually to over $2 trillion by 2015, doubling in size between 2011 and 2015 (Gulfnews, September 21, 2012).

“We would like to congratulate the Ontario Government and the TFSA for their leadership with respect to positioning Toronto as a North American hub for Alternative (Islamic) financing,” said Kenneth Atlas, partner, and national leader of BLG’s Banking and Financial Services Group.  ““Alternative financing is a potential new source of debt financing for borrowers and offers interesting new products to Canada’s financial services sector.”

BLG is the Canadian member of ISFIN, the world’s leading network of Islamic finance specialists, and is the ACQ 2013 Islamic Law Firm of the Year (Canada). 

A full copy of the report is available in English: Business Sector Strategy — Financial Services Sector.

About Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) is a pre-eminent full-service, national law firm focusing on business law, commercial litigation and intellectual property solutions for our clients. With more than 750 lawyers, intellectual property agents and other professionals in six Canadian cities, BLG assists clients with their legal needs, from major litigation to financing and patent registration.

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Amanda McWhirter
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP