New lender Offa launches Shariah-compliant specialist solutions 

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  • 05/09/2019
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New lender Offa launches Shariah-compliant specialist solutions 
The UK’s first Shariah-compliant bridging lender, Offa, has opened, with offices in London and Birmingham.

 

The lender has secured £20m in funding from a Sharia-compliant UK financial services organisation.

It will offer Shariah-compliant residential loans ranging from £100,000 to £10m for up to 12 months at a maximum finance-to-value (FTV) of 75 per cent. Commercial bridging facilities are offered for the same sums and term length up to 65 per cent FTV.

Offa was established by head of operations Bilal Ahmed, the former chief executive of Signature Finance,  head of business development Tarek Kallel and head of investments Haris Akhtar.

The lender added it was “in advanced talks” with an Islamic finance institution over £100m of additional funding.

The company plans in future to offer solutions for refurbishment, stretched development, planning and shared risk/joint venture schemes.

The lender said it expects to lend to UK residents, UK ex-pats and international clients based overseas, including individuals, sole traders, partnerships, limited companies and on and offshore special purpose vehicles. 

Offa said that brokers could earn procuration fees of up to 2 per cent. 

“Shariah-compliant finance is established in the UK and used by Muslims and non-Muslims. We are extending it into bridging and other specialist lending,” said Ahmed. 

“The UK’s muslim population is expected to grow to 13m by 2050 from 3.4m today. We see this as a high-growth market with a long-term future,” Ahmed added.

“The broker channel will be integral to our proposition and we want to speak to intermediaries interested in adding Shariah-compliant bridging to their proposition. We expect that lots of investors in the UK market will relish the chance to take out Shariah-compliant short-term finance,” said Kallel.

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