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Islamic ‘first’ for Standard Chartered

Adel Abd Allah Al Belushi, first vice president and head of financial institutions at Al Baraka Banking Group (left), and Afaq Khan, chief executive officer, Saadiq Islamic Banking, Standard Chartered.

Standard Chartered Bank has launched the first Islamic US dollar nostro account in the United States. Islamic banks across the world will now be able to earn Shariah-compliant profits on their account balances at Standard Chartered Bank New York by using this facility, which will operate on the Islamic finance principle of Commodity Murabaha. Profits will be paid on a monthly basis.

Al Baraka Banking Group is the first bank in the MENA region to benefit from the product and signed an agreement with Standard Chartered at a MENA bankers’ conference in Lebanon.

“The Saadiq US dollar nostro account is unique, innovative and illustrates our commitment to meeting the core needs of our clients seeking alternative banking such as those that are Shariah principled,” said Afaq Khan, Standard Chartered Saadiq’s chief executive for the bank’s global Islamic banking business. “By further catering to the Islamic banking market, we are able to strengthen our position as the bank of choice for clients doing business in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”

Commenting on the importance of the product, Adnan Yousef, chief executive officer of the Al Baraka Banking Group, said, “This much-needed solution is ground-breaking for our industry and surely it will pave the way for further developments.”

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