Al Rayan Bank completes national tour of Islamic Finance events

06 November 2015

Al Rayan Bank has conducted a series of UK Islamic finance information events, held in Leicester, Manchester, London and Birmingham over the past six weeks.

Designed to improve understanding of Islamic finance, the events were attended by nearly 300 people. Attending were customers and members of the general public, both Muslim and non-Muslim. To conclude the activity, the Bank will host an Islamic finance Twitter event on 10 November at 6pm, to give those unable to attend in person the chance to have their questions on Sharia compliant finance answered.

Samir Alamad, Head of Sharia Compliance and Product Development, Al Rayan Bank said: “It’s been a pleasure to see so many people attend our Islamic finance information events. Islamic banking is designed to enable society to conduct its finances in a way that is fair and ethical, and for this reason there is a strong and growing interest in Sharia compliant finance products in the UK, not only amongst Muslims who want to conduct everyday banking in accordance with their faith, but also non-Muslims who are looking for an ethical alternative to conventional banking.”

At each event, Mr Alamad gave an introductory presentation, and then answered questions directly from the audience. A common topic, during the two hour long discussions, was how Islamic banks differ from conventional banks; this was especially relevant to the relatively large numbers of non-Muslims who attended each event. Mr Alamad explained that in addition to the fact that Islamic banks do not use interest in their products, they also differ from conventional banks in terms of their structure, governance, approach, products and services, and ethical principles.

The Islamic banking system is an ethical system which is concerned with the wider effects of its actions on society. An internal ethics (Sharia compliance) department monitors the products that Al Rayan Bank sells as well as how it conducts its business on a day-to-day basis, ensuring that everything the Bank does is ethical and Sharia compliant. In addition, an external and independent ethics committee (known as the Sharia Supervisory Committee) oversees all of the Bank’s activities.

As an ethical Sharia compliant bank, Al Rayan Bank works with its customers towards a mutually profitable end. The Bank’s ethical principles prohibit it from investing its savers’ deposits in activities such as gambling, pornography, tobacco, arms and other commodities not in keeping with the values of Islam.

Al Rayan Bank is the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank. With a national retail branch and agency network, as well as internet and telephone banking services, The Bank serves more than 60,000 customers. Al Rayan Bank is dedicated to strong, faith-based ethics and great customer service, and in May 2015, it was named by Global Finance magazine as one of the best Islamic banks in the world, in its annual list of the World’s Best Islamic Financial Institutions

The Bank has also been recognised as an ethical alternative to conventional banks by the Move Your Money campaign and Ethical Consumer magazine, which places Al Rayan Bank in the top ten of ethical current account providers. In addition, Al Rayan Bank is an accredited ‘Living Wage Employer’, voluntarily opting to pay its employees a ‘Living Wage’ which is significantly higher than the current minimum wage and the new compulsory National Living Wage, to be introduced in 2016.

As an independent UK bank, Al Rayan 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.

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