Masraf Al Rayan Q.S.C. completes the acquisition of Islamic Bank of Britain plc

16 January 2014

Islamic Bank of Britain plc (IBB), the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank, today announced that Al Rayan (UK) Limited, the UK subsidiary of Masraf Al Rayan Q.S.C. (MAR), has become its new parent company.  The acquisition of IBB by Al Rayan UK follows a cash offer made on 28th November 2013 for which MAR has received valid shareholder acceptances exceeding 95%, together with approval of  the Prudential Regulation Authority for MAR to take control of IBB

The acquisition represents the combination of two complementary organisations; MAR is Qatar’s largest Sharia compliant bank by profitability with a full-service offering.  Since 2006 it has been providing retail, SME, corporate, private banking and investment banking services.  IBB is the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank.  Formed in 2004, the Bank has attracted over 50,000 customers and offers the largest range of Sharia compliant retail financial products in the UK.  These include current, savings and business banking accounts, Home Purchase Plans and Buy to Let Purchase Plans. 

Commenting on the acquisition, Adel Mustafawi, Group CEO of MAR, said, “I am delighted to welcome IBB to the Masraf Al Rayan group.  The Bank is considered the pioneer of Islamic banking in Britain and has very strong awareness amongst consumers there.  This provides the opportunity for Masraf Al Rayan to expand its footprint and introduce its range of products to a fertile market which has great potential for continued growth.  It will also enable Masraf Al Rayan to offer its existing Gulf-based customers additional services as they expand their activities into the UK.  Masraf Al Rayan’s vision is to become a leading and innovative international financial institution and acquiring IBB represents an important step in achieving this.” 

Sultan Choudhury, Interim Managing Director of IBB, added, “IBB is joining Masraf Al Rayan, a fast-growing, international banking group. This represents a key milestone in IBB’s history and is a result of its impressive achievements so far, which include year on year growth in customer base, deposits and assets since its inception in 2004.  Going forward, IBB will have a parent company which has a clear focus on how to develop the Bank as well as having the necessary resources to achieve this.  We look forward to continued success as part of the Masraf Al Rayan group.”


About Masraf Al Rayan

Masraf Al Rayan QSC (MAR) is a Qatar-based Islamic bank providing banking, financial, investment and brokerage services through a network of 12 branches located across Qatar. The Bank was incorporated in January 2006 and is licensed by Qatar Central Bank.  MAR is the fifth largest Islamic bank in the world, the second largest bank in Qatar and the country’s largest Sharia compliant bank. 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 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:

Interviews with Islamic Bank of Britain are available on request.

The bank should only be referred to as “Islamic Bank of Britain”. If abbreviated please use “IBB”.


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