Islamic Bank of Britain shareholders approve change in name to Al Rayan Bank

16 December 2014

Islamic Bank of Britain plc (IBB), (www.islamic-bank.com), the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank, today announced that formal shareholder approval has been granted to change its name to Al Rayan Bank PLC.

The change signifies the beginning of a new chapter for the Bank as the European subsidiary of Masraf Al Rayan QSC (MAR), the second largest bank in Qatar by market value.

Al Rayan 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.

Communications regarding the anticipated rebranding activity from Islamic Bank of Britain to Al Rayan Bank began in October 2014, and shareholder approval has now formalised the change. As a result the Bank has introduced a new Al Rayan Bank logo and brand identity which are being implemented across the Bank’s website, literature, branches and other materials. The new website address is now www.alrayanbank.co.uk

Commenting on the change, Sultan Choudhury, CEO of Al Rayan Bank said, “After 10 years as Islamic Bank of Britain and IBB, the Bank has changed its name to Al Rayan Bank, mirroring its strong and successful parent, Masraf Al Rayan (MAR).  Not only is it reflective of the support the Bank has from MAR, it also represents the ambitious growth Al Rayan Bank plans to achieve over the coming months. These are exciting times for the Bank, with further significant developments planned for 2015.”

Al Rayan Bank received a £100million capital investment from its new parent company in January 2014, which has enabled it to significantly boost its capabilities and resources.  These include senior appointments, investment in its IT infrastructure and strengthening of its product range to encompass Sharia compliant real estate finance, commercial and development finance and a private banking offering for customers based in the GCC region.

To support the 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.

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 Al Rayan Bank

Al Rayan Bank PLC, (formerly known as Islamic Bank of Britain plc, 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. Al Rayan Bank 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 Al Rayan’s products and activities are Sharia compliant.

As a Sharia compliant bank, the source of Al Rayan Bank’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 Al Rayan Bank 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 Al Rayan Bank plc are available on request.

2.The Bank should only be referred to as “Al Rayan Bank plc”.

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