IBB appoints NZF as Zakat Education Partner for 2014
IBB, part of Masraf Al Rayan Q.S.C, the world’s fifth largest Islamic bank, (www.islamic-bank.com), has today announced it has once again joined forces with the National Zakat Foundation (NZF), a charity which collects and distributes funds to Muslims in the UK.
IBB has appointed NZF as its Zakat* Education Partner for 2014 following previous successful collaborations in 2012 and 2013. The coming months will see the Bank and NZF roll out a number of activities for the benefit of IBB’s customers, including:
- A Q&A event held via Twitter on 3rd July 2014 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm
- NZF’s Zakat education guide, available to download on the IBB website
- Private consultations for IBB customers with NZF Zakat specialists, by prior appointment, at the Bank’s branches
- A Zakat payment service, enabling customers to make a donation to any charity with an IBB bank account, including NZF at IBB branches or via the IBB website
- An exclusive Zakat video Q&A from NZF available to view on the IBB website and You Tube Channel
Commenting on the collaboration Tim Sinclair, Head of Marketing at IBB, said “IBB has a strong tradition of delivering activities which improve the Muslim community’s understanding of the financial aspects of Islam. Its collaboration with NZF is a great example of this, and we are delighted to be renewing the partnership for the benefit of IBB customers and the wider Muslim community.”
Iqbal Nasim, Chief Executive of the National Zakat Foundation said, “NZF is proud to be working with IBB again this year. By doing so we are able to raise awareness of the Charity’s efforts to help those in need within the local British Muslim community. With a focus on education, the aim is to encourage Zakat-payers to understand this important Pillar of Islam better.”
The emphasis of the IBB and NZF partnership on education and awareness is a response to the findings of two national surveys held in 2012 and 2013. The latter involved questioning 200 Muslim adults (customers and non-customers of IBB) via telephone interviews. The study was conducted by independent research company, 2Europe, on behalf of Islamic Bank of Britain in August 2013. IBB conducted the survey to establish how much those who considered themselves to be Muslim, practiced Islam. The findings revealed that:
• 94% of those surveyed do not drink alcohol
• 91% only eat halal foods and always check labels for ingredients
• 90% calculate and pay their Zakat annually.. They also pay Sadaqah during the course of the year
• 89% have been/plan to perform the Hajj and /or Umrah in the short term
• 84% fast during the month of Ramadan
• 68% pray five times a day, every day
• 56% always keep a beard/wear a headscarf for Islamic reasons
• 29% are actively involved in the events and organisations of their local Muslim community
The survey findings establish that British Muslims practice their faith very well. However, the second survey, commissioned and conducted by NZF and IBB in August 2012, specifically looking into the habits of British Muslim Zakat payers, highlighted a serious concern. It found that out of nearly 600 respondents, only 60% were confident in their ability to calculate their Zakat accurately and identified that Zakat is the least understood of the five Islamic pillars.
The aim of the IBB and NZF partnership therefore is to promote a better understanding of Zakat amongst British Muslims, building on existing knowledge. Zakat shares a common purpose with the principles of Islamic finance, which is to provide an ethical and socially responsible financial system for the Muslim community. Islamic finance achieves this with partnership-based financial principles which operate without interest (Riba) and speculation. Zakat achieves this by empowering communities through the re-distribution of wealth.
The IBB and NZF collaboration is taking place in the year that IBB celebrates its 10 year anniversary. IBB opened its doors as the UK’s only wholly, Sharia compliant retail bank in 2004. Since then it has attracted over 50,000 customers and now offers the largest range of Islamic retail financial products in the UK. These include current, savings and business banking accounts, Home Purchase Plans and Buy to Let Purchase Plans. IBB also works with carefully selected partners to offer Sharia compliant wealth management products and services.
*Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam which mandates upon all Muslims to annually pay a fixed portion of their wealth to those in need. The purpose of Zakat is to purify the wealth held by individuals to attain socio-economic justice.
IBB, part of Masraf Al Rayan Q.S.C, a Qatar-based Islamic bank and the world’s fifth largest Islamic bank 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 by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the 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 guarantee that IBB’s products and activities are Sharia compliant.
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:
1. Interviews with Islamic Bank of Britain plc are available on request.
2. The Bank should only be referred to as “Islamic Bank of Britain plc”. If abbreviated please use “IBB”.
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