Al Rayan Bank

Al Rayan Bank plc
Industry Financial services
Founded 2004
Headquarters Birmingham and London, UK
Number of locations
9 branches and agencies
Key people
Sultan Choudhury, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Products Banking
Revenue Increase GBP10.3 million (2015)
Increase GBP21.3 million (2015)
Number of employees
Parent Masraf Al Rayan

Al Rayan Bank plc (formerly known as Islamic Bank of Britain) is a commercial bank in the United Kingdom, established in August 2004 to offer Sharia compliant financial service products to customers of any faith. The bank has branches in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leicester and agencies in Blackburn, Luton and Tooting.[1] It is the first British bank claiming to operate, in its entirety, according to Islamic principles.[2] The bank welcomes people of all faiths and is becoming increasingly popular with non-Muslims, looking for an ethical alternative to conventional banks.[3] [4]

The bank states that has five values:[5] Sharia compliant, community oriented, secure, good value and pioneering. Faith is an important factor for the bank, and accordingly branches briefly close on Friday afternoons to allow the staff to attend Jummah (Friday) prayers.[6] The bank also has a Sharia department and an independent Sharia Supervisory Committee to ensure that its products are compliant with Islamic teachings.[5]

As of 2015 Al Rayan Bank serviced 60,000 customers.[7]


Islamic Bank of Britain was formed by a group of investors from the Middle East to take advantage of the growing market for Sharia compliant financial services in the UK. In July 2002, consultants and advisors were employed to confirm if such type of bank was needed and if it would be accepted by the Financial Services Authority, FSA.[8]

Potential investors were invited, mainly from the Persian Gulf, who put together a private placement document which allowed the company to raise £14 million in start up capital by early 2003. In the same period, its first Managing Director, Michael Hanlon was recruited. Later that year, a draft business plan was proposed and formal application to the FSA was submitted.

By August 2004, the FSA granted authorisation of the bank,[9] and subsequently led to the Islamic Bank of Britain available to the public.

Macroeconomic conditions

Like all financial institutions, the Bank was adversely affected firstly by the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 and subsequently by on-going weak macroeconomic conditions. Despite, this IBB continued to grow and in 2012 attained the highest level of retail asset finance and deposit balances in its history.

The acquisition of Islamic Bank of Britain by Masraf Al Rayan

On 16 January 2014 IBB confirmed that its new parent company was Masraf Al Rayan, the fifth largest Islamic bank in the world and the second largest bank, by market value, in Qatar.

In December 2014, Islamic Bank of Britain officially changed its name to Al Rayan Bank PLC, to reflect its status as part of the Masraf Al Rayan (MAR) group of companies.

In April 2015, Al Rayan Bank posted its strongest financial performance to date, resulting in the Bank more than doubling its operating income and posting its first profit.


  2. "First Islamic bank to open in UK". BBC. 2004-08-09. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  4. "The Best Savings Accounts You've Never Heard Of". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
  5. 1 2 "Vision and values". Islamic Bank of Britain. Archived from the original on 4 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  6. "IBB Annual Report 2010". Islamic Bank of Britain. 2010-12-31. Archived from the original (pdf) on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
  7. Prospectus
  8. "Regulation and Islamic finance". Financial Services Authority. 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2007-09-22.

External links

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