Islamic Bank of Britain changes name to Al Rayan Bank

23 October 2014

Islamic Bank of Britain plc (IBB), (www.islamic-bank.com), the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank, today announced that, subject to formal shareholder approval, it plans to change its name to Al Rayan Bank PLC. The change will be completed in December 2014. The rebrand follows IBB’s acquisition, earlier in the year, by Masraf Al Rayan (QSC, MAR), the fifth largest Islamic bank in the world and the second largest bank in Qatar.

IBB is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary and has ambitious expansion plans as it enters its second decade. As IBB, the Bank earned the reputation as a pioneer of British Islamic banking and developed the largest range of Sharia compliant retail financial products in the UK.

As Al Rayan Bank, it will be part of an ambitious, global, banking organisation, and is seeking to build upon its own, as well as its new parent’s, strong foundations. With a £100million capital investment from its new parent company, the Bank has begun to strengthen its product offering and widen its appeal to a broader range of customers. The union between MAR and IBB has enabled the Bank to retain its core values whilst boosting its capabilities in order to achieve significant business growth.

Commenting on the rebrand, Sultan Choudhury, CEO of IBB said, “IBB has pioneered British retail Islamic banking over the last 10 years, achieving global recognition for its outstanding successes. The change to Al Rayan Bank represents the latest chapter in the Bank’s history, in which it will expand its retail and commercial product offering to a wider audience, with the backing of a strong and successful parent. Importantly, the Bank will preserve the spirit of IBB, remaining a British Islamic bank dedicated to strong, faith-based ethics and great customer service.”

Rebranding activity will involve the introduction of a new Al Rayan Bank logo and brand identity which will be implemented across the Bank’s branches, website, literature and other materials. The Bank’s activities will continue to be monitored by an independent Sharia Supervisory Committee and a dedicated Sharia Compliance Officer. It will continue to operate as a UK regulated bank, and customers’ deposits will remain protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

With an increased focus on corporate and real estate finance, Al Rayan Bank will develop its presence in London, where its commercial and GCC operations will be based. Its retail banking and operational head quarters will remain in Birmingham.

Since IBB opened its doors as the UK’s only wholly, Sharia compliant retail bank in 2004 it has developed the largest range of Islamic retail financial products in the UK and attracted over 50,000 customers. As an inclusive bank, IBB welcomes customers of all faiths and is attracting increasing numbers of non-Muslims. The Bank estimates that nearly 83% of customers who joined the bank between 1st January 2013 – 15th August 2014 and opened a Fixed Term Deposit account, were non-Muslim, drawn by its great profit rates, excellent service and its ethical approach to doing business.

Ends

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 by the Prudential Regulation Authority, 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 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:
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”.

ENDS

Issued by Islamic Bank of Britain Plc, Edgbaston House, 3 Duchess Place, Birmingham B16 8NH

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