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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

KCB cleared for Islamic banking in Tanzania

The Tanzania government has finally approved Kenya Commercial Bank’s Amana Islamic suite.
According to KCB-Tanzania head of retail banking Gloria Nyambok, the approval will see the bank introduce the second phase of the Amana suite comprising loan products.
Ms Nyambok added, “The bank consulted an Islamic panel of leading scholars to guide the product development process.”
She said the bank has agreed to abide by the stringent guidelines set by the National Muslim Council of Tanzania. Among these are the establishment of an Amana Banking Advisory Board to oversee the product and the appointment of Shariah-compliance officers.
Muslims make up more than 50 per cent of Tanzania’s population. Existing banking regulations have hindered the introduction of Islamic banking in the past.
The Islamic faith prohibits its members from earning interest on their accounts in any way. Giving and receiving as well as witnessing interest are all prohibited. Islamic banking products therefore do not pay interest on deposits nor demand or receive interest from borrowers.
The bank’s head of corporate affairs Doris Parsons said there would be a free ATM card that is linked directly to the Islamic facility, issued only to Amana Account holders.
KCB Tanzania has cut a niche for itself in the local banking sector for continually introducing competitive products.
Last year the bank introduced Biashara Banking for small and medium enterprises as well as KCB Cub Account for minors. the two products have been very well received.
(Source: The East African)

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