16 May 2011

Tanzania: Bank to Offer Loans Under Islamic Law

Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited is set to launch mortgage loans, vehicle loans and home loans through its Shariah Banking product sometime this year, its senior official has said.According to Mr Mohammed Issa, the bank's board supervisor Shariah banking, the service is expected to start in the next few months whereby the product's customers will access loans, which are shariah compliant.

"The products that are in compliance with Shariah law will include transactional accounts, savings accounts and deposit products, mortgage loans, vehicle loans and home loans. We are aimed at attracting clientele discouraged by conventional banking, which disagreed with their faith," he said over the weekend in Dar es Salaam.

Speaking at a seminar to educate Imams on the essence of Shariah banking, lending and governance and its adherence to Muslims, Mr Issa pointed out that the economy was picking up as result of a wider reach of banking solutions being provided by banks and financial institutions. About 1,500 Imams had attended the Shariah Banking seminar.

He congratulated the Stanbic Bank for the initiative to spread the knowledge of Shariah banking to a wider audience.Islamic finance caters for customers who want to avoid earning interest, which is viewed as usury under Islamic law.

Islam also prohibits speculation and investment in non-Sharia compliant industries. Stanbic bank Shariah banking products include transactional accounts, savings accounts and deposit products based on the Al-Qard mode of the Islamic faith.

Since the launch of the product one year ago, the bank has conducted activities various educational in organizations and higher learning institutions.The head of Shariah Banking Stanbic bank, Mr Sameer Bharwani stated that the bank was committed to providing banking services that adhere to all the aspects of the Muslim faith through the Shariah banking services.

The bank's Shariah banking boss added that with Shariah banking, the bank is able to move forward a section of its customers in their work and investment enterprises through its transactional banking solutions. The bank also plans to provide lending products for home loans as well as asset financing.

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