We answer the commonly asked questions about the Bank, our products and services and Islamic finance in general
Al Rayan Bank offers to customers the same banking services as conventional banks except that it operates in accordance with the rules of Sharia (Islamic law). The absence of interest is one of the key factors that differentiates Al Rayan Bank from conventional banks.
Since 2004, Al Rayan Bank has helped thousands of UK customers undertake their day-to-day banking requirements without compromising their values.
Each product offered by the Bank uses specific Islamic finance principles that are derived from trade, entrepreneurship and risk-sharing. Each product is individually approved by a fully independent Sharia Supervisory Committee.
Al Rayan Bank’s approach has been recognised as an ethical alternative to conventional banking by Ethical Consumer magazine and the Move Your Money campaign, a comparison of just over 70 UK and global banking providers on five key categories – honesty, customer service, culture, supporting the economy and ethics.
By following Islamic finance principles laid down in Sharia, Islamic law. To ensure the rules are followed as closely as possible, Al Rayan Bank has a Sharia Compliance Department (SCD) and a separate independent body called the Sharia Supervisory Committee (SSC). The SSC is comprised of Islamic scholars and experts in the interpretation of Islamic law and its application within modern day Islamic financial institutions.
The staff in the SCD are also trained to the highest standards, set down by The Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). It is recognised as the highest Sharia compliance standard in the Islamic finance industry.
The combined works of the SCD and the SSC ensure that both the Al Rayan Bank’s products and its activities comply with Islamic rules at all times.
Al Rayan Bank provides the largest range of Sharia compliant retail financial products in the UK. Since 2004, Al Rayan Bank has helped tens of thousands of customers, Muslim and non-Muslim, buy their own homes, save for their children’s future and expand their businesses without compromising their values.
Al Rayan Bank does not currently have an official sustainability policy.
As well as supporting national and international charities, Al Rayan Bank is active in the community - supporting local charities and sponsoring numerous community events. Additionally, we regularly undertake community-based work, such as providing mentoring to school children through the Mosaic Network and Schools Enterprise Challenge.
No, absolutely not. This is something which is sometimes asserted, but it is wholly inaccurate. Al Rayan Bank shares profits with savings customers as a result of trading activities and charges rent to home finance customers. All products are fully endorsed by the Sharia Supervisory Committee and are 100% in accordance with the principles of Sharia (Islamic law).
As well as being guaranteed that their money will never be invested in any activity not permitted under Sharia, Al Rayan Bank is committed to transparency and fairness, integrity and respect, putting the customer at the heart of its business.
Al Rayan Bank customers are made aware that savings accounts offer ‘expected profits’ and that the Bank uses their money in trades of low risk commodities (non-precious metals), Sukuk (Islamic bonds) and in the Bank’s property finance products.
The whole premise of Islamic banking is that the customer and bank work together as trading partners towards a mutually profitable end. This is monitored by an expert independent body, the Sharia Supervisory Committee (SSC), to ensure that the Bank’s activities do not only serve its own purposes but benefit the customer as well.
Al Rayan Bank also advertises all the expected and achieved profit rates on it’s website.
The UK has quite a well-developed Islamic finance system, especially when compared to other Western countries. According to research from the CityUK Islamic Finance 2011 report there are 22 financial institutions offering Islamic banking. Most of these are wholesale banks that are used by large businesses. Some of these are Islamic finance ‘windows’ offered by high street banks.
Al Rayan Bank is the UK's oldest and largest wholly Sharia compliant retail Islamic bank. This means Al Rayan Bank is not part of any other UK bank and every part of its operations is wholly based on Sharia.
As an Islamic bank, any charges Al Rayan Bank imposes on its customers cannot be arbitrarily high and unjustifiable. All charges must be fair and reflective of the actual cost/effort required for the Bank to undertake the activity.
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Why is Islamic banking considered ethical?
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