First Islamic UK business account
Lloyds TSB is to offer the UK's first business bank account which complies with Islamic law throughout its 2,000 strong branch network.
The accounts will not pay interest in order to meet the requirements of Islamic Sharia law.
In addition, money held in the accounts cannot be invested in certain industries such as gambling or alcohol.
Lloyds TSB has targeted the Muslim community with other Sharia-compliant financial products since 2005.
The bank already offers an Islamic current account, student account, mortgage and investments funds to non-business customers.
PRINCIPLES OF ISLAMIC BANKING
All money must be invested in industries Muslims consider ethical
The giving or receiving of interest is forbidden
Money cannot be simply traded for money
Money can be used to buy goods or services, which can then be sold for a profit
Members of Britain's Muslim community own an estimated 100,000 businesses.
Traditionally, some Muslim business people have shunned mainstream financial services and High Street banks because their products do not comply with Sharia law.
Under Sharia Islamic law, making money simply from money - such as charging interest - is usury, and is not permitted.
Instead, wealth should be generated only through legitimate trade and investment in assets.
Investment in companies involved with alcohol, gambling, tobacco and pornography is also strictly off limits.
Shazia Saleem, 23, an Halal food entrepreneur, welcomed the launch of a Sharia-compliant bank account.
"It means a lot to me that I now have the option of banking in line with my faith," Ms Saleem said.
"Islam is a way of life for me... so it is important that I am comfortable with every aspect of the way it (the bank account) is run," she added.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/04/02 23:00:11 GMT
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