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UK-based Pak bank launches Islamic deposits scheme PDF Print E-mail
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LONDON, Feb 02 (APP)-A UK-based Pakistani bank has launched its Islamic deposit products to cater to the needs of both the business community as well as individuals interested in conducting their economic activities in accordance with the tenets of Islamic Shariah.United National Bank which was created in 2002 and is now a joint venture of United Bank Limited, a major share holder with 55 per cent, and National Bank of Pakistan which has 45 per cent stake.

The management is under the control of United Bank Limited now owned by the UK’s richest British-Pakistani businessman Sir Anwar Pervez who also has other extensive business interests in Pakistan.

These deposit products are 90 Days Notice Deposit account and Fixed Term deposits for six months and one year and are based on Mudaraba structure, a permitted Sharia mode.

Speaking on the occasion, UNB CEO Mansoor Khan said London has emerged as a global hub for Islamic Finance and a huge market potential exists in the UK market for Islamic products.

He further said the bank is focussing on the South Asian Muslim community and have set them as their initial target market for these products.

“Predominantly over a one million people are clustered across the UK and the philosophy behind launching their products is a belief that savings play a vital role in managing future needs.”

“The people generally try to save a portion of their income with a view to protecting themselves from future financial hardship and also to enhance their earnings for their benefit and the benefit of their family,” said Mr.Khan.

Explaining further, he noted most of the Muslim community does not believe in accepting interest (ribah) as it is prohibited in Islam and therefore tend to keep their savings in current accounts or in the shape of cash at home or in their lockers.

He said the UNB Islamic deposit products will provide them an opportunity to invest their surplus funds in the new scheme to protect their capital and earn purely “halal” profit with no fear of interest.

Setting out future strategy of the bank, Mr.Khan said this will be based on introducing new technology such as debit cards and internet banking. “We intend to bring in the new technology across all our British branches by the end of this current year.”

The CEO said though UNB is not competing with other major UK high street banks, yet it knows its target market and hope to do well in selling the new products.

The bank has branches in London, Birmingham, Bradford, Glasgow and Manchester. He spoke of the hugely successful remittance scheme launched by the bank which deliver free, secure next day cash payment in Pakistan at over 700 UBL branches.

Atif Bukhari, President, UBL, and Board Director, UNB, who flew in especially from Karachi for the launching of the Islamic deposit product, told the media that UNB was already offering Ijara Mortgages to its customers and has booked a sizeable portfolio.

UNB, he added, has taken the lead to offer a complete Shariah compliant solution where the customers will have peace of mind that their money has been invested in a sound product and they are sharing profit not interest.

The marketing head of the bank Mir Muhammad Akhlaq said the Islamic products are also very attractive to the general public by virtue of their product features and benefits.

Ehsan Mani, a bank Director and Aamir Karachiwala, Chief Controller, also spoke on the occasion, and said the deposits generated through these products will be utilised in the bank’s existing Ijara mortgage product.

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