Muslim leaders have backed comments by a leading Islamic finance expert who said Sharia-compliant banking had been a "huge flop" in the UK.I DON'T THINK SHARIA BANKING WAS EVER INTENDED TO MAKE MONEY; IT WAS A FORM OF INTIMIDATION AND CREEPING ISLAMIZATION.
Junaid Bhatti, part of the team which set up the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), which has one of its eight branches in Leicester, said Islamic products had been wrongly marketed by banks, which had over-emphasised the religious aspect.
These products are forbidden to charge, pay interest or be linked to the alcohol or tobacco industries.
The city is considered to be a hotspot for Sharia-compliant banking, mortgages and insurance due to its large Muslim population.
Earlier this year, Ali Vania, manager at the Leicester branch of IBB, in London Road, Leicester, – which opened in 2005 – said demand for Islamic financial products has increased because of the economic crisis.
However, Mr Bhatti told Muslim Politics.com: "As we now approach the sixth anniversary of IBB's launch, I'm sad to finally have to admit that Islamic finance in the UK has been a huge flop."
IBB has not made a profit since it was founded in 2004 and last year saw losses rise to £9.5 million, compared to £5.9 million in 2008.
Mr Bhatti said that products created by the major banks had also failed to take off.
"Lloyds, which made a half-hearted stab at Sharia-compliant products in 2004, doesn't seem to have promoted its offering for years," he said in the article.
"Even HSBC Amanah, probably the most credible and efficient provider of halal banking in the UK, has dramatically reduced its dedicated Islamic banking staff in Britain, and its marketing volume has been turned way down."
IBB declined to comment.
HSBC said Sharia-compliant accounts were increasing at 10 per cent to 15 per cent a year. Lloyds said it no longer marketed its Islamic products.
I'M GLAD IT'S FLOPPING.
PEOPLE WHO WANT SHARIA IN ANY FORM SHOULD BE DEPORTED FROM THE WEST.