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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Plans in motion for first Islamic retail bank in Australia

The Muslim Community Cooperative Australia (MCCA) has stated its ambition to become the country's first Islamic retail bank.

MCCA chairman Dr. Akhtar Kalam said its ambitions would be hastened as more and more consumers turn to the principles of Islamic Banking & FInance (IBF) as an alternative to the current offers in the marketplace.

Dr. Kalam opened the symposium by saying the MCCA was too big to remain a co-operative and yet too small to become a bank.

He said it would work with the federal government to address the challenges and find an Islamic Finance and Banking solution.

"I am confident that the Islamic principles of ethical investment and finance will be immensely attractive to Australian Muslims and non Muslims and in doing so, provide the momentum that will ensure MCCA's goal is realized to be our nation's first retail Islamic bank," Dr. Kalam concluded.

The symposium was opened by assistant federal treasurer, Nick Sherry.

Sherry said Islamic finance was an area of growing interest in Australia, and referred to the retail opportunities the industry offered to both Muslim and non-Muslim customers.

Australia has over 340,000 Muslims and Sherry said the offering of retail Islamic finance products contributed to fostering social inclusion, by enabling Australian Muslims to access products that may be more consistent with their principles and beliefs as well as widening the choice of products for non-Muslims.

Under Islamic law, charging interest on a loan is forbidden.

(Broker News)

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