By Maisam Fazal 25 July 2019 | Mortgage Strategy
British consumers are increasingly making ethical decisions when choosing financial products. In recent years Al Rayan Bank – the UK’s oldest and largest Islamic bank – has enjoyed significant success in attracting ethically minded consumers to consider its products for reasons other than faith. In fact, almost a third of its customers are believed to be non-Muslim, and demand for residential finance has more than doubled between 2015 and 2018.
However, there is still work to do to educate potential customers on the opportunities that Islamic finance presents for the mainstream market.
Islamic banking products must adhere to the principles of Sharia law. This means banks cannot invest in industries associated with gambling, tobacco, alcohol, arms or any commodity not in keeping with the ethical values of Islam. Nor must interest be paid or charged.
This approach appeals not only to Muslims but to anybody who agrees that this fits with the underlying principles of equitable distribution, fair trading, prudent spending and the wellbeing of the community.