News Column

Minister Touts Setting Up More Shariah Compliant Banking

July 21, 2014

BANKS and other financial institutions have been urged to expand delivery of services to ensure people from all walks of life are served well irrespective of their social status and religious beliefs.

"More bankers should consider offering services without charging or paying interest to customers ..... such a system leaves out many muslims in the country," Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ms Saada Mkuya Salum said in Dar es Salaam at the weekend.

Ms Salum made the remarks at an Iftar organised by the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) for the bank's clients and other invitees in observing the Holy month of Ramadhan.

The minister commended the bank for its widespread coverage with the country's largest branch network, ATMs, internet banking and mobile phone-based transactions. NMB is listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. It has 154 branches, over 500 ATMS and more than 2 million customers.

However, the minister said NMB should consider introducing Shariah laws compliant services.

The Shariah laws govern the way in which Muslims live their lives and conduct their daily business including financial affairs. One of the guidelines is the absence of interest on current and savings accounts.

The Shariah Law forbids the earning of interest. Some commercial banks in the country including National Bank of Commerce, Kenya Commercial Bank and Amana Bank are among those that offer Shariah compliant services.

NMB Chief Executive Officer Mr Mark Weissing said the bank believed in working closely with the community in line with the country's tradition and culture where people live in harmony irrespective of diverse creed, racial and tribal differences that exist.

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Source: AllAfrica

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