• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

British Islamic bank plans Swedish expansion

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 1 Aug 2008, 18:37

Published: 01 Aug 2008 18:37 GMT+02:00

The Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), which pioneered Islamic banking in the UK when it first opened its doors in 2004, could soon open a branch with the aim of serving the Muslim population in Sweden.

"We got in contact with the Swedish authorities a while ago. At the moment it is a question of preparing our next step," said Shaher Abbas for IBB.

The Islamic Bank of Britain was formed in 2002 with the aim of meeting the financial needs of the British Muslim population and is backed by investors in the Middle East.

IBB now offers internet banking and savings products and has 60,000 customers at its eight branches across the UK.

The company is now planning a European expansion with branches in Germany and Sweden, according to Sveriges Radio.

IBB's business is based on the principles of Islamic finance which stipulate that savings and loan products are offered without the use of interest.

"We make every effort to ensure that we do not compromise the principles of the Islamic faith by mixing our funds with interest bearing funds. We fund all our operations on a Sharia'a compliant basis," the company explains on its website.

Despite its profile, the Islamic Bank of Britain welcomes both Muslim and non-Muslim customers.

"We have Christian customers, Sikhs and many non-religious customers also," Abbas told Sveriges Radio.

The bank is regulated by the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) in the UK and is also subject to and approved by a Sharia'a Supervisory Committee - made up of three learned members of the British Muslim community.

Although the IBB would be Sweden's first bank based on the Islamic principles of Sharia'a, it would not be the first to seek to avoid the use of interest bearing funds.

JAK members bank has been operating interest-free savings and loans under a banking licence since 1997. JAK is formally a cooperative bank with 35,000 members and a growth of around 5 percent per annum.

Story continues below…

JAK is not a religious bank but has a certain missionary zeal and declares on its website:

"We at JAK work for a society with financial rules which do not create huge divisions between people and regions. For a just society without interest!"

JAK, a bank borne of 1970s idealism and thriving in a decidedly different age some three decades later, could soon be joined by a bank with a code of principles as old as the religion of Islam itself, and great ambition to boot.

"I think we can be much bigger, God willing," said Saher Abbas to Sveriges Radio.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Sweden paying 'millions' for empty asylum beds
A child plays outside a hotel converted into asylum accommodation in Överkalix. File photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT

The Swedish migration authority (Migrationsverket) has spent a reported 197 million kronor ($23 million) on unused beds for asylum seekers in 2016.

Sweden to join Nato strategic centre: director
Photo: Fredrik Broman/Imagebank Sweden

Non-aligned Sweden will join Nato's Strategic Communications Centre based in nearby Latvia amid heightened tensions with Russia.

Swedes bake during 'record' warm September
Swedes relax on Malmö's Sundspromenaden at sunset on 14th September 2016. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

New record temperatures are expected to be confirmed in a number of places across the country.

Where to see the Northern Lights in Sweden
The Northern Lights pictured in Sweden on Wednesday night. Photo: Norrsken Sverige

An unusually high level of solar activity means the spectacle could be visible from rare spots in the country.

Swedish police 'in crisis' says union head
A file photo of Swedish police officers. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The creation of a new merged national police authority in Sweden has not gone well, according to the Swedish Police Union.

Nobel Prizes 2016
Nobel Literature Prize announcement delayed
Haruki Murakami (pictured) is one of the bookmakers' favourites. Photo: Bernat Armangue/AP/TT

The delay is due to 'arithmetic', an academician said.

Horny elk hold up Swedish hunt
One of the randy animals in question. Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

The giant things just can't contain themselves.

Sweden to ban masks but not burqas at football matches
A masked supporter at a Stockholm derby football match last year. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

The ban is designed to curb violence at sporting events in Sweden, but it must also follow conventions on religious freedom.

Video
Heckler humbles Swedish golf champion with perfect putt
Henrik Stenson met his match in the final practice for the Ryder Cup. Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP/TT

Well that wasn't supposed to happen...

Presented by Invest Stockholm
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges

It’s no secret that Stockholm is serious about sustainability. We took a look at how the city's emerging startups are tackling global challenges, making the world a better place.

Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
National
OPINION: Sweden bad, Norway good, Trump better? I'm confused
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
National
Here's how much Sweden's highest-earning authors make
National
Where to see the Northern Lights in Sweden
Blog updates

27 September

Cutting your nose …. (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Last week, Jeremy Browne, the Special Representative for the City of London, visited Sweden. Jeremy was…" READ »

 

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Expat finances in Sweden: the Common Reporting Standard
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Aliens' sex lives? Why Swedes want Nasa to send a condom into space
Analysis & Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape on migration'
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
2,945
jobs available