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26 Sep 2005 00:00
First National Bank (FNB) is the first major bank in South Africa to offer sharia-compliant banking facilities through its IslamicFinance bank accounts.
According to Ebi Patel, CEO of Wesbank Islamic Finance at FNB, banking services have traditionally been out of the reach of devout Muslims.
“The rules and regulations laid out in the sharia [Islamic law] prevent Muslims from dealings that involve the payment or receipt of interest. And as local banking operations are reliant on gains from interest, banking services designed specifically for the Islamic market have largely been regarded as untenable,” Ebi says.
Understanding the importance of sharia compliance to the Islamic community, FNB has developed its IslamicFinance account to meet the requirements of sharia compliance.
“To date, South African Muslims have been forced to avoid the offerings from local financial institutions.
Nevertheless, like all other South Africans, local Muslims require the services of a secure, customer-focused financial institution, and we are proud to be the first major bank to offer services which meet the specific needs of this market,” says Ebi.
Sharia-compliant IslamicFinance bank accounts are available at any of the more than 650 FNB branches around the country and meet the needs of youth, sole proprietors and business customers.—I-Net Bridge
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