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Saturday, 18 April 2009

Africa: Chase bank has launched Shariah compliant products

Chase bank has launched Shariah compliant products, to diversify its product range to better cope in a highly competitive banking sector in the country.
Its entry into this category of banking will heighten competition for customers between it and two fully-fledged banks started last year.
Gulf African Bank and First Community Bank started operations mid-last year, while other conventional banks have also introduced such products. Among these banks are KCB and Barclays, which are among the top five banks in the country.
Speaking during the launch on Thursday evening, the bank’s managing director, Zafrullah Khan, said Chase wanted to ride on the growth of Islamic banking to grow its business.
“Islamic banking has become a world phenomenon, experiencing exponential growth on all continents, and appealing to both Muslims and others. With the framework in place and the product approved by the Central Bank, we are ready,” he said.
Known as Imam Banking, products are tailored for corporate, small-and-medium enterprises, as well as individuals. The accounts will include current accounts, savings accounts and fixed period investments.
The minimum opening balance is Sh1000 and a monthly fee of Sh350 for individuals but free for students. The minimum for corporate companies is Sh10,000.
Mr Khan said the bank’s Eastleigh and Mombasa branches will be Imam banking centres. He added that the bank would also study the recently introduced Tawadul (capital markets) in Riyadh and Dubai to introduce a Sharia compliant investment bank.
“We are currently developing Sharia compliant investment banking and wealth management products with our partners, Genghis Capital Limited and Winton Investment Services,” he said.
The management also intends to introduce Sharia compliant insurance products (Takaful).

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