Lloyds TSB: Demand for Islamic mortgages rising

12 October 2007
The market for sharia-compliant mortgages is growing in the UK, according to one financial expert.

Emile Abu-Shakra, media relations manager for Lloyds TSB, said that the firm initially began offering such services in five branches.

This has now been extended to all of the firm's branches across the country as demand has "gone through the roof", Mr Abu-Shakra commented.

Under sharia law, making money from money is not permitted and all forms of interest are prohibited by Islamic law.

According to Mr Abu-Shakra, some people in the past have chosen to "compromise their principles" and take out a normal mortgage, but others continued to rent their properties.

Commenting on the issue recently, Aktar Ahmed, product manager for Lloyds TSB, said that until recently Islamic financial products were not available in Scotland, leaving a significant proportion of the population at a disadvantage.

The government subsequently changed rules to enable firms to offer such products for residential properties in Scotland, although more needs to be done to make it a "level playing field", he stated.

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