Aramco-backed fintech opens bank branch in London to support Muslim investments

varsha sarkar

April 3, 2023

3:06 pm

Aramco-backed fintech opens bank branch in London to support Muslim investments

Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco has backed a fintech firm that has opened a bank branch in London to support investments in accordance with the Islamic law. The new bank, named Wahed Bank, aims to provide accessible and ethical financial services to Muslims around the world, specifically those who observe Sharia law and seek investment opportunities that align with their religious beliefs.

Islamic finance is based on sharia principles that prohibit the charging or paying of interest (riba) and promote social justice. This makes it an attractive option for Muslims who are seeking investment opportunities that align with their values and beliefs. However, many conventional banks do not offer sharia-compliant investment options, leaving a gap in the market for companies like Wahed Bank to fill.

The new bank offers a range of investment products that are fully compliant with sharia law. These include socially responsible investments (SRI), which support businesses that promote environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices, and waqf, a form of endowment in which property or money is held for religious or charitable purposes. In addition, Wahed Bank provides a robo-advisory service, which uses algorithms and artificial intelligence to provide personalized investment advice to clients.

Wahed Bank has already established itself as a leading provider of Islamic finance in the United States, where it has received significant investment from some of the largest Islamic investment companies in the world. The opening of its London branch marks an important step in its expansion into Europe and will provide Muslims in the UK and Europe access to sharia-compliant investment options that were previously unavailable to them.

The London branch is expected to play a key role in supporting the growth of the Islamic finance industry in Europe. The region is currently experiencing a growing demand for sharia-compliant financial products and services, and Wahed Bank is well positioned to meet this demand. The bank’s focus on ethical and socially responsible investing will also appeal to a wider audience who are seeking investment opportunities that align with their values.

The opening of Wahed Bank’s London branch is part of a wider trend of increased investment in the Islamic finance industry. The sector has seen rapid growth in recent years, and is projected to reach $3.8 trillion by 2025. This growth is driven by a growing global Muslim population, who are seeking investment opportunities that are in line with their religious beliefs, as well as increasing interest from non-Muslim investors who are attracted to the sector’s strong ethical and social principles.

Aramco’s investment in Wahed Bank is part of its strategy to diversify its portfolio and tap into the growth potential of the Islamic finance industry. The company has been seeking to expand its operations in the financial sector, and its investment in Wahed Bank will provide it with a platform to participate in the growth of the Islamic finance market.

Conclusion


The opening of Wahed Bank’s branch in London is a notable development in the Islamic finance industry. This new branch will provide Muslims in the UK and Europe with access to sharia-compliant investment options that align with their religious beliefs and values, filling a gap in the market for ethical and socially responsible financial services. 

Aramco’s investment in Wahed Bank is also significant, as it demonstrates the company’s strategy to diversify its portfolio and participate in the growth potential of the Islamic finance industry. The company’s backing of Wahed Bank will provide it with a platform to play a key role in the continued growth and development of the Islamic finance sector.

varsha sarkar

April 3, 2023

3:06 pm

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