Islamic Bank of Britain is expanding it’s presence to cater for the Muslim market in Wales. Islam is the most popular non-Christian religion in the principality with an estimated 60,000 Welsh Muslims, with the majority living in and around Cardiff. Islamic leaders in Wales have been encouraging providers of Halal financial services to develop closer ties with their communities. Islamic Bank of Britain has responded by launching Halal financial services through a network of Financial Advisors, Mortgage brokers and other Intermediaries from Cardiff and the surrounding areas.
The launch event will take place on Sunday 10th of June 2007 and is being supported by the Muslim Council of Wales (www.muslimcouncilwales.org) and Cardiff University’s Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK. The launch will be attended by local community leaders, professionals and businesspeople.
Cardiff holds a unique position in Muslim history as home to the first Masjid (Mosque) in the British Isles, which was established in 1860 at 2 Glyn Rhondda Street. (Source: BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/history/uk_1.shtml).
Recently, the National Assembly for Wales welcomed it’s first-ever Muslim member, when Mohammad Asghar won a regional seat for Plaid Cymru. Asghar was previously the first-ever Muslim Councillor in Wales, and his recent election success is seen as a step-forward for the Muslim community’s confidence in Welsh Politics. Including Asghar, a record 11 Muslim candidates stood for election to the Assembly.
Islamic Bank of Britain, as a Halal Bank, has to be overseen by a panel of eminent Islamic Scholars called a Sharia’a Supervisory Committee (SSC). One of the overseeing Scholars for the bank, Sheikh Nizam Yaquby, was a PhD candidate at the University of Wales in Cardiff, specialising in Islamic Law.
In February 2007, Islamic Bank of Britain announced the results of the Muslim Power 100 survey, which recognised Muslims who have made significant contributions to the social, cultural and economic well-being of Britain. Welsh Muslims were represented on the list, in the form of Yasmin Hussain, Equality Director, National Assembly for Wales.
The Muslim community in Britain contributes over £31 billion pounds to the British economy each year (Source: Institute of Asian Professionals), and the purpose of Muslim Power 100 was to promote the positive aspects of Islam and to highlight the valuable contribution made by Muslims in Britain.
Sultan Choudhury, Commercial Director for Islamic Bank of Britain commented:
“We are very excited about the launch our Halal services for the Muslim community in Wales. Under Islamic principles interest-paying finance is forbidden. Muslim families and entrepreneurs in the principality have voiced their strong desire for a Halal alternative to conventional mortgages and commercial property loans, as they feel they are having to compromise their faith just to get on the property ladder. Now they have an opportunity to conduct their finances without compromising their faith.”
Islamic Bank of Britain was recently voted ‘Best Islamic Bank in Europe’ for the second year running, in an independent worldwide poll. (Source: Islamic Finance News, as voted for by 1200+ Islamic Finance Professionals from around the world. See website http://www.islamicfinancenews.com/ for further information.)
About Islamic Bank of Britain
Islamic Bank of Britain has pioneered Islamic retail banking in the UK and has launched a wide range of products, including current accounts, savings accounts, personal finance and home finance. The bank was also the first to introduce Islamic Business banking to the UK, and now offers a wide range of institutional and business banking products and services, including commercial property finance.
Several of the bank’s products remain unique in the UK retail market (e.g. Islamic personal finance and Islamic savings accounts).
The bank is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and meets UK banking regulations and strict safeguards for customer deposits. All products offered by the bank are fully approved by the Bank’s Sharia’a Supervisory Committee (SSC).
Whilst the bank offers products and services that are designed in accordance with Islamic principles, it is an inclusive bank and welcomes customers of all faiths.
Islamic banking operates without the use of interest (also known as “Riba” to Muslims). The products that are offered are structured in a different way to those provided by conventional banks. The bank uses the latest technology to ensure that it provides customers with a reliable and quality service on a par with other banks in the UK.
Notes to editors:
Interviews with Islamic Bank of Britain are available on request.
The bank should only be referred to as “Islamic Bank of Britain”. If abbreviated please use “IBB”.
Issued by Islamic Bank of Britain, Edgbaston House, Birmingham B16 8NH
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