BY NEW BUSINESS ETHIOPIA REPORTER
According to the press statement New Business Ethiopia received from Standard Bank today, Standard Bank has engaged the services of an independent Sharia council. The primary function is to approve product and ensure that all the banks Sharia activities are fully compliant.
Shariah banking is a system of banking that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law. In practice, it prohibits the payment or acceptance of interest fees for the lending and acceptance of money.
It also prohibits Muslims from investing in businesses that provide goods or services that are considered contrary to the Islamic principles. In practice, Islam prohibits the taking and giving of interest, there should be no gambling (speculation) and no investments in prohibited industries.
The first products that will be offered under this proposition will be a transactional product ‘TransactPlus’ and current account, which is 100% Shariah compliant and provides the same convenient features of conventional accounts, including internet banking, Visa electron or Maestro debit card, and prepaid airtime services.
Bashir Awale, MD, Stanbic Bank Tanzania is quoted as saying: “Tanzania is an important market for Standard Bank as the gateway to East Africa and we are proud to be able to offer our first Shariah banking product in this market, where about 50% of the population is Muslim”.
“We believe that if we are to contribute to the economic development of Africa, we need to provide innovative banking solutions that are consistent with the needs and beliefs of all our customers.”
“There is a substantial untapped market among Muslims, who make up a large portion of the population in Africa, and Standard Bank is mindful of the fact that to be truly an African bank, it needs to ensure that there are products in the market that cater for them,” says Terry Moodley, Chief Executive, Personal and Business Banking, Standard Bank Africa.
As the leading bank in Africa, Standard Bank is constantly looking for ways to provide banking products and services that allow all customers in Africa to save and transact. It also aims to demonstrate its confidence in the future of Africa and other emerging markets by making the right connections with its customers and stakeholders across the continent.
“Standard Bank plans to roll out its Sharia banking value proposition to all other markets in the coming months,” concluded Moodley.
Standard Bank trading as Stanbic Bank is part of one of Africa's leading financial services groups, the Standard Bank Group Limited, which is based in South Africa and listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
The group trades under the name Stanbic Bank in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and is known as Standard Bank in Angola, the DRC, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Lesotho, Mauritius and Mozambique.
The group has the largest presence in Africa with the Group total assets of approximately 182 billion USD as at December 2009 and employing about 35 000 people worldwide.