HNB launches Al-Najah Islamic banking unit

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Hatton National Bank PLC, the premier private sector commercial bank in the country, entered into Islamic banking with the introduction of an Islamic banking unit to cater to the rapidly-growing Islamic banking market.

Al Najah, the first Islamic banking unit launched by HNB, will serve its Islamic banking clients with a special banking unit located at its head office at HNB Towers. The unit is fully equipped with trained staff and systems and well-structured products to serve its customers.

The unit will operate under the overall supervision of HNB and will offer a broad spectrum of Shariah compliant products and services to its entire clientele.

In addition to the current accounts, the bank’s Islamic Banking Unit (IBU) will provide depositors with profit sharing Mudaraba savings and Mudaraba investment options which will provide depositors with a Shariah based return on their investments.

For business and personal customers seeking financing, the bank would offer a range of trade related services, leasing for vehicles/equipment and machinery, home financing, working capital requirements and other personal financial services.

All operations of the Islamic Banking Unit will be in accordance with the CBSL guidelines and shall also be in conformity with the Shariah principles. This will also ensure that the fund management operations and earnings of the IBU will be segregated and distinct from the conventional banking activity.

The bank has already appointed a Shariah advisory panel headed by Ash-Shaikh Mufti Yoosuf Haniffa comprising of extremely knowledgeable and experienced well-known Shariah scholars who would supervise and advise on Shariah-related aspects of the IBU business.

Commenting at the official launch, the Head of the Islamic Banking Unit L.A.M. Hisham opined that HNB’s range of Shariah based services provide customers with the option of choosing a product or service in harmony with their individual ethical considerations.

Speaking at the inauguration, HNB MD/CEO Rajendra Theagarajah stated that HNB, a bank with a longstanding history of 123 years, saw its initiation in the hill capital with the objective of serving the nation at a grass root level. “HNB, which ranks amongst one of the largest private sector commercial banks in the country with an asset base of over Rs. 380 billion, is delighted to venture in to the domain of Islamic banking and finance.”

He went on to state that Islamic banking caters to the ever-growing demand of customers. Theagarajah stated that it was a great pleasure to have obtained the fullest support and cooperation of the HNB Board of Directors and corporate management for this venture. This, he stated, was a true testimony of HNB’s far-sighted vision in going the extra mile.

Speaking at the occasion ADL Capital Chairman A.I. Marikkar, the former Managing Director of Amana Investments Ltd. (presently known as Amana Bank), stressed that HNB with its widespread islandwide coverage and the cooperation of its management had ventured out to provide an efficient customer service to its Islamic banking customers. He also stated that the HNB Shariah Board comprises well-known eminent Shariah scholars and that the Islamic banking unit of HNB would be well received by customers due to HNB’s strong brand affiliation.

The first deposits of the Islamic banking unit were accepted by HNB Chairperson Dr. Ranee Jayamaha. The vote of thanks was delivered by HNB Islamic Banking Unit Manager Fariz Fuad.

The event was graced by members of the Shariah Board Ash-Sheikh M.M. Mubarak, Ash-Shaikh Fazil Farook and Ash-Shaikh Mohamed Mashood Muhamed Insaf. ADL Capital Limited Chairman A.I. Marikkar, ADL Capital Managing Director Ishrath Rauf and members of ADL Capital Ltd. Azad Zaheed, Shabri Abdul Cader and Ishrath Mohideen were also present.

HNB Chairperson Dr. Jayamaha, MD/CEO Theagarajah, HNB Deputy CEO Jonathan Alles and members of HNB’s corporate management, senior management, customers and staff of HNB were also among the distinguished gathering.