Standard Chartered Saadiq, the Islamic banking arm of Standard Chartered Bank, has unveiled new customer offerings for United Arab Emirates (UAE) customers, in response to growing interest in and customer demand for Islamic finance in the country and across the region. Saadiq customers can now access the full range of banking products and services through Standard Chartered’s 600-strong frontline staff and sales representatives, who have been trained in Islamic banking.
The enhanced Islamic banking offering has been designed specifically for individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), providing them with Shariah-compliant banking products and services. It builds on the bank’s experience of offering Islamic banking over the last eight years across UAE, Bahrain, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Wasim Saifi, global head of Islamic banking, consumer banking at Standard Chartered, said: “Islamic banking has been growing nearly twice as fast as conventional banking, owing to rising customer demand, growing sophistication of Islamic service providers, and strong government and regulatory support. The size of the industry is currently estimated at US$1 trillion globally. Markets such as Nigeria and Oman have recently introduced Islamic banking, while recent political developments in North Africa indicate that Islamic banking will become a key focus area in that region. And although the sector has already grown very rapidly, there is scope for further growth, including some of the largest markets such as Indonesia and Pakistan, where Islamic banking penetration is still in the single digits.”
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