Absa adds to its Islamic-banking offering

Less than three months after opening for business, Absa Islamic Banking announced on Tuesday that it will offer two more products to its Sharia-compliant offering. These are a cheque and savings account. And, as is the case with all other Absa Islamic Banking products, the new additions meet the conditions laid down by Islamic law.

“These products are core to our offering and we have been inundated with requests for such products since our initial launch,” says Ahmed Moola, managing director: Absa Islamic Banking.

“With Absa Islamic Banking, our desire is to provide Islamic products that will enable our financial expertise to help customers meet their financial needs within the requirements of their faith.

“With each addition to the Islamic banking offering, we get one step closer to a full Sharia-based solution for our clients,” says Moola.

The new Absa Islamic cheque facility is a transactional account, tailored to meet the needs of customers requiring a Sharia-based transactional account. The Absa Islamic savings account has been specifically designed to be a convenient, simple, savings tool that allows clients to save as and when, and whatever amounts they may choose, but still offers unrestricted growth.

“Because Sharia law prohibits the earning of interest, our new savings account operates on the basis that a portion of the profits generated is paid to account-holders,” says Moola.

“We mobilise funds from a pool of investors—our account-holders—who supply funds that we manage on their behalf, in return for a share of the profits generated by those funds. The profit is shared based on an agreed profit-sharing ratio.

“Earnings are calculated and distributed to clients at the end of the financial year. The slice an investor is entitled to is directly related to that depositor’s average annual contribution to the total Islamic deposit pool,” Moola says.

Absa Islamic Banking’s range of products is available at any of Absa’s more than 700 countrywide branches. However, more than 70 specifically identified branches in areas with a large Muslim population have been given additional, extensive training and a dedicated telephone hotline has been set-up for client queries.—I-Net Bridge

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