Standard Bank Group to provide sharia banking in Tanzania

Stanbic Bank, a member of the Standard Bank Group (SBG), has launched sharia banking products in Tanzania.

Sharia 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 is a transactional product known as TransactPlus and a current account. They are 100% sharia-compliant. The current account provides the same features of conventional accounts, including internet banking, Visa electron or Maestro debit card, and prepaid airtime services.

“Tanzania is an important market for Standard Bank Group as the gateway to east Africa and we are proud to be able to offer our first sharia banking product in this market, where about 65% of the population is Muslim,” says Bashir Awale, managing director of Stanbic Bank in Tanzania.

“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 Group 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.

“Standard Bank plans to roll out its sharia banking value proposition to all other markets in the coming months,” Moodley added.