Conventional banks recognise the importance of ‘Islamic-banking style’ ethics committees

13 January 2014

To coincide with its recapitalisation process, the Co-operative Bank recently announced that it had set up a Values and Ethics Committee, which will be chaired by a senior independent director.  The plan is that the new committee will ensure that the Bank is “fair, responsible and trusted.”*

This is a step in the right direction.  Governance, which sits outside of the day-to-day management of a bank and provides an ethical compass, can only be a positive move for customers.   Indeed, this is a system that Islamic finance has implemented for many years.  

IBB, like all other Islamic banks around the world, is guided by an independent ethics committee, known as a Sharia Supervisory Committee (SSC).  The SSC is a key feature of the Bank, and has been so since we were formed in 2004.

The SSC reviews every product that we launch, as well as how we operate and the way that we act to ensure that everything we do is consistent with Islamic teachings.  This influence guarantees that our actions are not only concerned with the direct needs of the Bank, but also with the wider needs of society as a whole.   For IBB this system helps to safeguard our customers’ interests, making sure that their needs are placed firmly at the heart of our business.

We’re extremely pleased, therefore, that the Co-operative Bank has become the first major conventional bank in the UK to recognise the importance of this approach.  We wish them well and hope others join them.


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