Islamic Bank of Britain, the UK’s first totally Islamic British bank, is responding to the difficulties some people experience in accessing banking services with the launch of its new CashCard account.
Michael Hanlon, managing director of Islamic Bank of Britain explains: “A UK government report1 noted that whilst 1.5 million families do not use banks and building societies, the reasons are complex. Individuals can find themselves not automatically approved through the standard credit check procedures, often for reasons other than not being credit worthy when they may well be.
“A name can sometimes be incorrectly spelt or arranged in the wrong order. New residents to the UK may not be registered on the electoral roll or, if several generations live together, an individual may not be able to provide the identification often requested such as a household bill.”
The difficulty in meeting the criteria set for a full current account is an experience particularly relevant to many ethnic groups, including the UK Muslim population. As Islam forbids the receipt or payment of interest (the basis of most conventional Western banking), many Muslims have chosen not to use their products and services. The result is that many have no banking history, creating another potential barrier to accessing banking services in the future.
The new CashCard account from Islamic Bank of Britain provides individuals who have previously not wanted or been refused banking services, an introduction to a basic current account.
Jill Steven, director of consumer affairs at Experian, the UK’s leading credit reference agency, comments: “Basic bank accounts, such as Islamic Bank of Britain’s CashCard account, offer a first step for many individuals to begin to build their banking history and the opportunity to access further banking products and services in the future.”
Islamic Bank of Britain’s CashCard account offers customers a cash card allowing funds to be withdrawn through branches of Islamic Bank of Britain, through any ATM displaying the Cirrus or Mastercard logo and via direct account transfer to another bank account. Customers can also set up direct debits and standing orders as well as access their account by telephone and post through Islamic Bank of Britain’s direct banking services.
Islamic Bank of Britain customers outside of the branch areas can use the bank’s services via telephone and postal banking (to the Bank’s UK based customer service centre). An internet banking service is planned for launch at the beginning of 2006.
Islamic Bank of Britain is regulated by the FSA and meets UK banking regulations and safeguards for the customer.
Islamic Bank of Britain makes every effort to ensure that it does not compromise Islamic principles and all products and services are overseen and approved by a Sharia’a Supervisory Committee. The Committee is comprised of world- renowned experts in the interpretation of Islamic principles and their applications within modern-day financial institutions.
For more information on Islamic Bank of Britain products and direct banking service call 0845 6060 786 or visit www.islamic-bank.com.