Sunday, March 23, 2008

March 19, 2008 Lloyds TSB backs expansion of Islamic banking

By Gill Montia

Lloyds TSB is convinced that the Islamic finance market, which operates under the principals of Shari’a law, will continue to grow in the UK, with demand increasing from both within and without the Muslim community.

The bank’s media relations manager, Emile Abu-Shakra, points out that although Islamic finance products “are designed with Muslims in mind and are designed to meet the needs of Islamic principles” anyone can use them, if they fulfil their financial needs.

Lloyds TSB already offers a range of Islamic products, including a mortgage and current, business and student accounts.

In 2007, the Financial Services Authority estimated that the Islamic finance industry in London was worth around £250 billion and only last month, the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) announced its intention to build a presence in Birmingham by supporting entrepreneurs.

IBB is the UK’s first Islamic financial institution to be authorised by the FSA to operate as a retail bank. It is inclusive and welcomes customers of all faiths.

Meanwhile, Noor Islamic Bank, which is based in Dubai, is seeking to acquire controlling stakes in UK financial institutions.

Noor aims to become the world’s largest Shari’a lender within five years and is seeking to gain a presence in European markets.

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