Establishing itself as the largestprovider of Islamic banking across Britain, Lloyds TSB launched onTuesday, April 3, the European country's first widely available bank accountfor Muslim businesses.
"Thousands of Muslim businesses across Britainwill be able to bank according to their faith from today, as Lloyds TSBlaunches the first high street Islamic business account in the country,"the bank said in a statement carried by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
"The account, which complies with Islamic law,is available across the bank's 2,000 branches, and will be open to the UK's estimated100,000 Muslim firms."
Lloyds TSB, the fifth-biggest bank in Britain, saidMuslim businesses have proved their mettle and deserve the Islamic Business andCorporate account.
"The entrepreneurial spirit in the UK is trulysomething to be proud off. Muslim businesses are making a phenomenalcontribution to this through their creativity and incredible work ethic,"it said.
In order to comply with Shari`ah,the business account offers no credit interest or overdraft facility.
Islam prohibits depositing one's wealth and takingspecified increase without the risk of either loss or profit making.
It also forbids Muslims from receiving or payinginterest on loans.
The new account, to be added to a host of Shari`ah-complaint services already offered to thecountry's nearly two million Muslims, was warmly welcomed by Muslimentrepreneurs.
"It means a lot to me that I now have theoption of banking in line with my faith," Shazia Saleem, a 23-year-oldentrepreneur establishing a halal food business, told Sky News.
Lloyds TSB's branches in England,Scotland and Wales already offer current and student accountswhich comply with Shari`ah while most of itsbanks allow Muslims to apply for Islamic home loans.
"Britain is rapidly establishingitself as a centre of Islamic finance and Lloyds TSB has been at the forefrontof this growth," the bank said in the statement.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, the heirapparent to Prime Minister Tony Blair, has promised to turn Britain into aninternational getaway for Islamic banking.
Ed Balls, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury,unveiled in February a draft bill allowing for the fist time British-basedfinancial institutions to sell Islamic bonds (sukuk).
British Muslims are catered for by a number of banksthat provide Shari`ah-compliant financialproducts, chiefly HSBC.
London is also home to the world's first qualification center — theIslamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) — which covers all aspects of Islamicfinance and helps bankers and practitioners grasp the basics of therapidly-growing industry.
The Islamic banking industry, which began almostthree decades ago, has made substantial growth and attracted the attention ofinvestors and bankers across the world.
There are an estimated 300 Islamic banks andfinancial institutions worldwide whose assets are predicted to grow to $1trillion by 2013.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16