Sharia-compliant bank opens in Scotland

Al Rayan Bank has opened an office in Glasgow making it the first wholly Sharia-compliant retail bank in Scotland.

Scottish customers will now have access to a large range of Islamic retail banking products, which include Sharia-compliant home and property finance products for the Scottish market.

Al Rayan’s Glasgow branch was opened by Sultan Choudhury, chief executive officer of Al Rayan, and Keith Leach, chief commercial officer.

Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for the economy, jobs and fair work, welcomed the arrival of Al Rayan to Scotland.

“Al Rayan Bank’s welcome decision to expand its operations into Scotland for the first time highlights the real opportunity offered by ethical finance. 

“This announcement reflects Scotland’s growing profile in ethical finance, building on last year’s successful Global Ethical Finance Forum and the work being done by the Edinburgh-based Ethical Finance Hub. 

“I wish them all the best for a successful future in Scotland.”

Despite being known for Islamic finance, Al Rayan revealed that 94% of all fixed rate deposit customers who had joined the bank this year were non-Muslim.

“Al Rayan Bank is committed to being an inherent part of the communities that we serve,” said Sultan. 

“We have many Scottish customers, who in the past have managed their accounts through our online and telephone banking channels, so it’s with a real sense of pride that we can now welcome existing and new customers to our first permanent office in Scotland.”

Omar Shaikh, board member of the Islamic Finance Council UK, also welcomed Al Rayan’s arrival in Scotland with the two organisations co-locating in Glasgow.

“We welcome Al Rayan Bank to our Glasgow offices, and look forward to working in partnership with them. 

“We believe that Al Rayan Bank’s new office is great news for Scotland, as the bank provides consumers with a competitive, ethical alternative to traditional banking.”

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