Al Rayan Bank’s new ethical Charities’ Notice Savings Account provides competitive profit rates and instant access for British charities

31 March 2016

Al Rayan Bank has today announced a new Charities’ Notice Savings Account, designed to meet the specific banking requirements of charities and not-for-profit organisations throughout the UK. The 100 day notice account enables charities to earn a competitive expected profit rate of 1.4% gross per annum on their savings but also allows them to immediately withdraw up to 20% of the outstanding balance, without penalty, in a 12 month period, based on the anniversary of the account opening.

This innovative account provides charities with the flexibility they need to respond to emergencies, such as funding relief efforts in the event of a natural disaster, whilst at the same time earning an attractive return on their funds. In addition to its competitive profit rates and instant access facility, charitable organisations are expected to be attracted to Al Rayan Bank’s transparent, ethical and prudent approach to banking.

The account is available to charities, masjids and not-for-profit organisations. Any amount between £50,000 and £20m can be invested, and the organisation will not be penalised if its balance falls below £50,000. Profit is paid monthly and withdrawals ordinarily require 100 days’ notice. However, if the charity or not-for-profit organisation needs instant access to up to 20% of its outstanding balance, then within a 12-month period it can either make one withdrawal of 20% of the account balance at that time, or two separate withdrawals, the sum of which can add up to 20% of the balances at those times (e.g. 5% of the balance at one time and 15% of the balance at another).

Sultan Choudhury, CEO, Al Rayan Bank said of the new account: “Al Rayan Bank has a commitment to providing competitive, innovative and ethical products, which respond to the needs of our customers. Many charities by their very nature require instant access to their funds. In order to safeguard this accessibility, they have often needed to put their reserves into instant access accounts, meaning that they don’t benefit from the higher levels of return associated with longer term accounts, such as notice accounts. Our new Charities’ Notice Savings Account offers the best of both worlds: competitive profit rates, instant access for up to a fifth of the funds, and all underpinned by an ethical finance model.”

The Charities’ Notice Savings Account provides charities and not-for-profits with a competitive, ethical alternative to conventional banks’ interest-based saving products. As an Islamic bank, Al Rayan Bank works with its customers as partners, towards a mutually profitable end. As the UK’s only Sharia compliant retail bank, it is dedicated to strong, faith-based ethics: it never invests savers’ deposits in unethical activities such as gambling, pornography, speculation, tobacco, arms and other commodities not in keeping with the values of Islam.

The account is operated under the Islamic finance principle of wakala (agency agreement) where Al Rayan Bank acts as the customer’s agent to achieve an agreed expected profit rate, monitoring the investment on a daily basis. Because expected profit rates cannot be guaranteed, there is a small element of risk involved. However, the risk is very closely managed, which is why since the Bank first began operating in 2004, it has always achieved the profit rate it expected at the outset for its customers.

Organisations can open an Al Rayan Bank Charity Savings Account in branch, via a Community Business Manager or by phone through its UK based, multi-lingual contact centre. Once opened, accounts can be managed online and through the Bank’s mobile iPhone and Android apps.

Al Rayan Bank has been a pioneer of British retail Islamic banking for over 12 years, and is dedicated to strong, faith-based ethics and great customer service. The first wholly Sharia compliant retail bank in the UK, it currently has over 60,000 customers and has earned a reputation for providing innovative products which appeal to people of any faith. Its ethical approach extends to its workforce: in December 2015 the Bank was awarded the Investors in People Standard, demonstrating its commitment to realising the potential of its employees, and it is a Living Wage employer.

Al Rayan Bank has been recognised as an ethical alternative to conventional banks by the Move Your Money campaign, and Ethical Consumer magazine, which rated it in the top ten ethical current account providers. Last year Al Rayan Bank 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, and by Trade Finance Global as the Best Islamic Finance Services in Western Europe.

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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