One side-effect of the British government’s embrace of Shariah-compliant Finance has been the marketing of Shariah-compliant products to non-Muslims.
…this niche section of banking has seen an upsurge in popularity – and not just among Muslims.
Islamic financial products conform to the ethics laid out by Muslim teachings. It’s possible to find Islamic savings accounts, investments, mortgages and insurance policies, and last year the Government even committed to developing a Sharia-compliant studentsounds as if such products would be fairly niche, yet more savers than ever are turning to Islamic accounts.
Tim Sinclair is head of marketing and retail sales at Al Rayan Bank, formerly known as the Islamic Bank of Britain. He says that business has taken off in the past 18 months; last year the bank posted a profit for the first time and its operating income rocketed by 168 per cent. A large part of this growth was driven by non-Muslims.
“We estimate that 83 per cent of our fixed-term deposit savings customers and 47 per cent of our Isa customers who joined the bank last year were non-Muslim.”
“Non-Muslim customers are attracted to Islamic finance because of the ethical way we conduct our business and also our approach to customer service. Islamic finance appeals to those who agree with the underlying principles of equitable distribution, fair trading, prudent spending and the well-being of the community as a whole.”
One is left to wonder whether zakat is fully explained to non-Muslim customers and whether any of the zakat ends up in the hands of Jihadists, as described in Shariah.