Bank’s videos aim to boost understanding of Shariah-compliant finance

Aug 29, 2019

Charles Haresnape, chief executive of Gatehouse Bank.

POOR awareness among UK Muslims of Shariah-compliant finance has promoted a specialist bank to produce four educational videos to help prospective customers to gain a greater understanding.

Gatehouse Bank has produced the videos, each under three minutes long, focusing on four key areas:

  • What makes Islamic finance  products Shariah-compliant? 
  • What are Home Purchase Plans and how do they work? 
  • How does Shariah-compliant Buy to Let work? 
  • What are Shariah-compliant savings accounts? 

The release of the videos comes after the bank’s 2019 Islamic Finance Consumer Report identified a knowledge gap that was hampering adoption of Islamic finance products.

The study found that:

  • 46%of those UK Muslim consumers surveyed had never used Shariah-compliant products
  • Awareness and perception is weak among non-users with only 53%knowing anything about it, and only 35%of non-users viewing it favourably
  • More than three in five of those surveyed were sceptical about how Islamic the products really are.

Gatehouse Bank is responding to the report’s findings by launching new initiatives to better explain its products and the advantages they offer to consumers.

The bank, whose customer service centre is based at Caldecotte Business Park in Milton Keynes, aims to ensure more people consider Shariah-compliant products when looking for financial services. The vast majority of consumers who choose Shariah-complaint finance are pleasantly surprised by the service they receive, the bank says – the research found that 85%of existing users said that their experience exceeded expectations.

The report, published last month, was the first study of its kind to look at the barriers and drivers to adoption of Shariah-compliant products by UK Muslim consumers. Muslim consumers contribute £31 billion to the UK economy, boasting a spending power of £20.5billion1, yet only 40% of Muslim consumers currently use Islamic finance.

 “The findings of our recent report highlighted there is a significant number of potential customers waiting to be reached,” said Gatehouse’s chief executive Charles Haresnape. “However, it is clear that we need to do a better job of explaining how our products and services work, the benefits of Shariah-compliant finance and how they compare to mainstream financial products.

“These videos are one of the ways we are hoping to increase awareness and understanding but we’re not going to leave it here. This is the start of an on-going piece of work that will see us continue to take our positive message to consumers.”

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