Lloyds TSB in Bethnal Green is to start offering Islamic banking services to the area’s Muslim community from today. The branch is the latest to join LloydsTSB’s Islamic Financial Services pilot, which has expanded to include seventeen branches across the UK.
The branch will now offer a current account and home finance, designed to meet the needs of Britain’s two million Muslims. The products comply fully with Islamic law (Shariah), under which the payment and receipt of interest is forbidden.
Bethnal Green joins other London branches including Walthamstow, Edgware Road, Aldgate and Barkingside as well as others in Birmingham, Luton and Dewsbury, Bradford, Slough, Letchworth, and Southampton.
Paul Sherrin, head of islamic financial services at Lloyds TSB, says: “Bethnal Green is home to one of London’s strongest Muslim communities and by bringing Islamic banking to the area we hope to give our customers a real alternative to traditional banking.
“Our Islamic financial services are now available in many branches throughout the country and Bethnal Green is yet another milestone on the road to making these services available to all Muslims in the UK.
There is now a real choice on the high street for Muslims who want current accounts and mortgages that meet the requirements of Islam. We’re proud to be able to give these customers something we know that they will value.
The current account offers no credit interest and has no overdraft facility, but it does provide a debit card and unlike some other compliant accounts, does not charge a fee or require a minimum balance.
Similarly, the home finance product will not be based on interest payments. Instead of lending money for a property purchase, the bank will buy the home outright, contributing up to 90 per cent of the purchase price. The customer will pay the remaining percentage upfront and would repay the outstanding sum over an agreed term, together with a rental payment.
Lloyds TSB has consulted with an Independent board of specialist scholars, who were able to advise on all aspects of Islamic law.