Ashurst wins at IFN Deal of the Year Awards 2021

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    Ashurst were awarded the IFN Regulatory Deal of the Year 2021 and the IFN UK Deal of the Year 2021, for advising the Bank of England on the establishment of its ALF, which opened on 2 December 2021 and has taken deposits from participating UK-based Islamic banks for the first time.

    The ALF is a non-interest-based deposit facility, the first of its kind offered by a Western central bank, designed to provide banks that cannot pay or receive interest with a similar ability to place funds at the Bank of England as conventional banks. This is an important step in providing a level playing field, and enabling greater flexibility in meeting regulatory requirements under Basel III prudential rules.

    Under the ALF model, participant deposits are backed by a fund of high quality Shari’ah compliant securities known as sukuk. The return from these instruments, net of operating costs, will be paid to depositors in lieu of interest.

    The Ashurst team was led by counsel Conor Funston, with support from partners Nick Cheshire, Kerion Ball and Tim Cant