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Lloyds TSB to expand Sharia move June 14, 2006

LLOYDS TSB has unveiled plans to roll out Sharia-compliant current accounts and mortgages across its 2,000 bank branches, after strong interest from non-Muslim ethical investors.

Britain’s fifth-biggest bank said that Islamic banking products, which forbid the payment or receipt of interest and refuse to invest in “unethical” industries such as the gambling, pornography or the tobacco trades, were becoming increasingly popular with Quakers and other religious groups.

Mufti Barkatullah, a senior imam and a scholar on the Sharia committee at Lloyds TSB, said that 20 per cent of customers who had been interested in Islamic finance at one of the bank’s branches were not Muslim.

The rapid expansion of Islamic banking products at Lloyds TSB is designed to cash in on rising demand from Britain’s two million Muslims.

Sharia compliant mortgages July 15, 2006

Until recently, mortgages were a religious obstacle to any Muslim who wanted to buy a home. Muslims must be sure that the mortgage complies with Sharia (Islamic) law. The biggest problem for a British Muslim who wants to buy a house is that either paying or charging of interest is prohibited.

Most UK mortgages involve the house-buyer borrowing the money and paying it back with some interest charged on top. No good for Muslims. To avoid the issue of paying interest, Muslim mortgages usually involve the bank buying the property and then the buyer purchasing it from them and renting it over a length of time at a slightly increased price.. .cont