Islamic Bank of Britain completes first Scottish business finance deal
Islamic Bank of Britain plc (IBB, www.islamic-bank.com) the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank, has completed its first finance deal in Scotland for Al-Meezan, a non-profit, non-political organisation based in Glasgow.
The deal for commercial property finance, valued at £400,000, has enabled Al-Meezan to complete renovation and extension work at its premises. It also includes refinancing of the credit for the initial building works, making Al Meezan’s finances fully Sharia compliant. As a result, Al-Meezan now has ten purpose built classrooms, a refurbished lecture theatre, a large foyer area, a multi-purpose room, a prayer hall, toilet facilities on both the ground and first floor, a lift and new kitchen facilities.
Al-Meezan provides Islamic education to over 600 women, children and teenagers in Glasgow and its surrounding areas. With growing demand for its services, the renovated premises will allow Al-Meezan to offer more classes in improved facilities.
Sultan Choudhury, managing director, IBB commented on the deal, “As a result of working with Al-Meezan, IBB has pioneered the development of Islamic commercial property finance in Scotland. With organisations struggling to access business finance we expect continued interest in our offering, particularly in Scotland where there is a growing interest in Islamic and ethical finance.”
Salma Shaikh, Chairperson of Al-Meezan added, “The completion of the Al Meezan building works represents a tremendous achievement for the centre and the local community in Glasgow. It’s also significant for the centre that we were able to complete the works with finance from IBB. For organisations like ours it’s important that we do not compromise the values that are important to us in the path towards growth. We feel it’s a win-win situation to have IBB as our finance partner with which we share our Islamic and ethical values.”
As a Sharia compliant product, IBB’s commercial property finance is tailored to the needs of the customer, and is in line with Scottish law. In this case, the product uses the Islamic finance principles of shared beneficial ownership (Musharaka) with a lease element (Ijara), where IBB and the customer buy the property as partners. The property is owned by both parties beneficially and the customer makes an Occupancy Payment to IBB in return for having the sole use of the property. At the end of the term, when all acquisition payments have been made and the finance has been settled, IBB's beneficial share of the property transfers fully to the customer.
As an Islamic bank IBB does not use any interest-bearing products to finance customer’s properties. Instead it uses its own funds, or the savings deposits from its customers, all managed entirely in accordance with ethical and Sharia principles.
IBB offers consumers a different approach to banking. As an Islamic bank it is based on a more equitable system of finance than conventional interest-based banking. Each product offered by the Bank uses specific Islamic finance principles that are derived from trade, entrepreneurship and risk-sharing in which the customer and Islamic bank work together as partners towards a mutually profitable end. The whole premise of Islamic finance is to provide a way for society to conduct its finances in a fair, ethical and socially responsible manner.
About Islamic Bank of Britain
Islamic Bank of Britain plc (the Bank, IBB) has pioneered Sharia compliant retail banking in the UK and now offers the largest range of Sharia compliant retail financial products in the UK. These include Sharia compliant mortgage alternatives, the Home Purchase Plan (HPP) and Buy to Let Purchase Plan (BTLPP), current accounts and savings accounts. The Bank was also the first to introduce Sharia compliant business banking to the UK, and now offers a wide range of institutional and business banking products and services, including Commercial Property Finance. Several of the Bank’s products remain unique in the UK retail financial market.
The Bank is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority and is a member of Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Sharia compliant banking operates without the use of interest and is founded on Islamic finance principles derived from trade, entrepreneurship and risk-sharing. IBB has a dedicated Sharia Compliance Officer (SCO) and a panel of respected Sharia Scholars, called the Sharia Supervisory Committee (SSC), which acts as an independent body to ensure that IBB’s products and activities are Sharia compliant. As a Sharia compliant bank, the source of IBB’s funding, profits and business investments must be ethical. They cannot be from businesses that are considered unlawful under Sharia law, i.e. companies that deal in interest, alcohol, gambling, pornography, speculation, tobacco, arms and other commodities contrary to Islamic values. Whilst IBB offers products and services that are designed in accordance with Sharia principles, it is an inclusive, ethical organisation and welcomes customers of all faiths looking for a bank with a transparent, prudent and community-focused approach.
Notes to editors:
Interviews with Islamic Bank of Britain are available on request. The bank should only be referred to as “Islamic Bank of Britain”. If abbreviated please use “IBB”.