Following the Budgetary announcement of amendments to Stamp Duty requirements for Muslim mortgages, HSBC will go ahead with plans to establish a UK arm to its Islamic banking division. (Mortgage Solutions pg1, 24 March 2003.)
Victoria Ebdon, spokeswoman for HSBC, said: ‘HSBC welcomes the Chancellor’s decision to address the problem of double Stamp Duty for UK Muslim homebuyers. This is a big step towards the provision of suitable and competitive home finance products to the Muslim community. We are actively developing new products in this area, which we expect to launch later this year.’
She continued: ‘We have been offering Shariah-compatible products and services since 1998 through our specialist global business unit, HSBC Amanah Finance. We are advised by an independent Shariah Supervisory Committee of eminent Islamic scholars of international repute to ensure our products and transactions meet the requirements of the Shariah/Islamic law. We currently have over 120,000 retail customers in Singapore, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.’
The bank was unable to give a specific timeframe within which it hoped to have the UK arm of the Islamic banking division operational.
l Yorkshire Building Society has also now announced plans to launch an Islamic mortgage before the end of the year.