Islamic Bank of Britain appoints Chief Commercial Officer

23 September 2014

Islamic Bank of Britain plc (IBB), (www.islamic-bank.com), the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank, today announced the appointment of Keith Leach to the newly created position of Chief Commercial Officer (CCO).

Mr Leach’s remit is to grow IBB’s corporate and real estate business, focussing on higher value transactions.  His appointment follows the Bank’s acquisition by Masraf Al Rayan (QSC) earlier in the year. A £75.8 million cash injection from IBB’s new parent company, provided in February 2014, will support its expansion plans.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Leach said, “I am joining IBB at a very exciting time.  The Bank is strongly committed to developing its product range, particularly real estate and corporate finance in order to achieve its ambitious growth targets”.

Sultan Choudhury, IBB’s CEO, comments, “Keith brings a wealth of corporate and commercial finance experience to IBB.  This is necessary in order for the Bank to achieve the strong balance sheet growth it is aiming for. With a focus on high quality assets, Keith’s appointment provides IBB with the ability to tender for higher value transactions, particularly in the London real estate sector.”

Appointed to the position from his role at the Arab Banking Corporation (ABC), Mr Leach has over 30 years of banking experience with Lloyds, Ahli United and ABC, 20 years of which has been spent in the UK Islamic finance industry.   Mr Leach has been instrumental in the development of a number of Sharia compliant retail financial products including the first home finance product launched in 1997.

Formed in 2004, IBB is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.  With over 50,000 customers and the largest range of Sharia compliant retail financial product in the UK, the Bank is considered the pioneer of British Islamic finance.  Now, with strong support from its new parent company, Masraf Al Rayan, IBB is building upon its excellent foundations and broadening its offering, with a view to achieving profitability in the near future.

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About Masraf Al Rayan

Masraf Al Rayan QSC (MAR) is a Qatar-based Islamic bank providing banking, financial, investment and brokerage services. The Bank was incorporated in January 2006 and is licensed by Qatar Central Bank.  MAR is the second largest bank in Qatar and the country’s largest Sharia compliant bank, by market value. Its structure consists of three main business divisions: Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking and Private Banking.  MAR is listed on the Qatar Exchange and its top 20 shareholders are blue chips in the Qatar investment, corporate and high net worth community.

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 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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