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Last Updated: Monday, 2 April 2007, 23:00 GMT 00:00 UK
First Islamic UK business account
Lloyds TSB branch
Lloyds TSB is targeting Muslim business customers
Lloyds TSB is to offer the UK's first business account by a High Street bank that complies with Islamic law.

The accounts, offered throughout the firm's 2,000 strong branch network, will not pay interest in order to meet the requirements of Islamic Sharia law. In addition, money held in the accounts cannot be invested in certain industries such as gambling or alcohol.

Lloyds TSB has targeted the Muslim community with other Sharia-compliant financial products since 2005.

The bank already offers an Islamic current account, student account, mortgage and investments funds to non-business customers.

Accounts shunned

PRINCIPLES OF ISLAMIC BANKING
All money must be invested in industries Muslims consider ethical
The giving or receiving of interest is forbidden
Money cannot be simply traded for money
Money can be used to buy goods or services, which can then be sold for a profit

Members of Britain's Muslim community own an estimated 100,000 businesses.

Traditionally, some Muslim business people have shunned mainstream financial services and High Street banks because their products do not comply with Sharia law.

Under Sharia Islamic law, making money simply from money - such as charging interest - is usury, and is not permitted.

Instead, wealth should be generated only through legitimate trade and investment in assets.

Investment in companies involved with alcohol, gambling, tobacco and pornography is also strictly off limits.

Shazia Saleem, 23, an Halal food entrepreneur, welcomed the launch of a Sharia-compliant bank account.

"It means a lot to me that I now have the option of banking in line with my faith," Ms Saleem said.

"Islam is a way of life for me... so it is important that I am comfortable with every aspect of the way it (the bank account) is run," she added.




SEE ALSO
UK's Brown backs Islamic finance
13 Jun 06 |  Business
Islamic mortgage market to expand
28 Jul 05 |  Business
First UK Islamic bank opens doors
22 Sep 04 |  Business
Q&A: Islamic finance
09 Aug 04 |  Business

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