Australia’s first Islamic bank is moving closer to reality with the launch of a waiting list allowing customers to register their interest in joining when the bank is launched.
The IBA project has been progressing for a number of years, but in 2020 has accelerated significantly with staff and a full board appointed.
IBA has applied for a banking licence from APRA, and is hoping to be granted their first restricted licence around the end of this year. IBA will be aiming to launch in 2021.
The bank will offer a range of personal and business accounts, including everyday bank accounts, savings and home finance – all 100% Shari’ah-compliant. By nature it will be an ethical bank.
IBA will offer a full suite of Shari’ah-compliant banking products:
- Everyday bank accounts with a debit card and digital banking.
- Wakala Investment savings accounts, such as investment term deposits offering profit-share returns.
- Home finance using the Murabahan Mutlaqah mode of Islamic finance (i.e. cost plus profit, with a deferred payment facility).
- Personal finance, such as car finance, home extensions and renovations.
- Business accounts and finance (from 2022 onwards).
IBA will not bank or deal with haram (prohibited) products, services and industries. Alcohol, pornography, gambling, arms dealings, tobacco and harm to the environment are examples of such prohibitions.
Shari’ah compliance guarantee
Under the IBA Constitution, all products and services must pass through Shari’ah approval first. To guard against risks, the Chair of the Shari’ah Audit Executives (SAE) serves as a permanent member of the IBA Board.
IBA is not yet a bank. When they are granted their banking licence, IBA’s name will become “Islamic Bank Australia” to reflect their place in the community.
Customers can join the waiting list by visiting ibagroup.com.au
Earlier this year, IBA appointed former CBA home loans executive Dean Gillespie as CEO, and former ME Bank CEO Anthony Wamsteker as chair. Both Mr Gillespie and Mr Wamsteker are passionate about supporting the Muslim community.
Mr Sultan Choudhury OBE, the former CEO of the UK’s largest Islamic bank, has also joined the board, as well as Mohammed Shaji, CEO of Abreco Freight in the UAE.
There is no other Islamic banks in Australia currently, even though about 3% of the population identifies as Muslim.
IBA will be opening a branch in Auburn in Sydney, and is also considering other locations such as Melbourne and Perth.
IBA will also offer fantastic digital banking, allowing customers to do their day to day banking on their phones.
The CEO of the IBA Group, Mr Dean Gillespie pointed out, “The Muslim community in Australia continues to grow, yet there’s no Islamic bank currently. In places like the UK, there are six or seven Islamic banks supporting the community – but in Australia, we’ll be the first.”
“All of the products and services we offer at IBA will be 100% Shari’ah-compliant, meaning our customers can be confident that their banking will be aligned with their faith.”
“Islamic banking is different to traditional banking, but we will still be offering products such as savings products and finance to help people buy homes. We won’t be charging interest on our finance accounts, and we’ll be offering profit-share on deposits. We also won’t be banking certain haram industries, such as alcohol, pornography and gambling to ensure we are ethical in every way.”
“We’re really excited about launching IBA when we’re ready – we’d be delighted if customers visited our website and joined the waiting list. We’re not a bank yet, but we’ll keep people on the list updated over coming months.”
Excited about banking with IBA?
To join the IBA waiting list, visit their website: www.ibagroup.com.au/survey