Al Rayan Bank has revealed that applications for two of its home finance plans reached an all-time high in 2016, as demand for Islamic finance soared. Both the bank’s home purchase and buy-to-let purchase plans received a record number of eligible enquiries last year. This surge follows a 9% rise in applications to the bank in 2016, marking a 99% increase over the past five years. Keith Leach, chief commercial officer at Al Rayan, said there was still substantial room for growth in the market and the bank expects demand to continue to rise in the coming years. Al Rayan estimates that 94% of its fixed-term deposit customers who joined last year are not of the Muslim faith. The announcement comes just weeks after Al Rayan launched a Sharia-compliant buy-to-let range in Scotland.
Islamic Bank of Britain plc (IBB), has appointed Keith Leach to the newly created position of Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). Mr Leach’s remit is to grow IBB’s corporate and real estate business, focussing on higher value transactions. His appointment follows the Bank’s acquisition by Masraf Al Rayan (QSC) earlier in the year. A £75.8 million cash injection from IBB’s new parent company, provided in February 2014, will support its expansion plans. Appointed to the position from his role at the Arab Banking Corporation (ABC), Mr Leach has over 30 years of banking experience with Lloyds, Ahli United and ABC, 20 years of which has been spent in the UK Islamic finance industry.