By Denise Marray/Gulf Times Correspondent/London
British expats working in the GCC, particularly in Qatar and the UAE, are increasingly turning to Al Rayan Bank to take advantage of its home finance products.
Al Rayan, the UK subsidiary of Masraf Al Rayan, began to actively target the expat market in 2013. The number of annual expat property cases financed by the Bank has subsequently increased by 141%, with 15% of new retail property finance cases coming from expats between January and May this year.
Commenting on the increasing popularity of Al Rayan Bank’s expat home finance products, Sultan Choudhury, Al Rayan Bank CEO, said: “British Expats seeking to buy a home to come back to in the UK or for investment purposes have for a variety of reasons found it difficult to secure property finance. Al Rayan Bank identified the expat market as an underserved sector in 2013, targeting resources towards it accordingly. As a result we have experienced significant growth in this area of our business.”
Al Rayan is the UK’s only wholly Shariah-compliant retail bank; its property finance products are based on the Islamic finance principles of co-ownership (Diminishing Musharaka) and leasing (Ijara). Interest (riba) is not allowed.
The customer and the Bank buy the property as partners and the customer pays rent on the Bank’s share in the property over an agreed term. When all acquisition payments have been made and the finance has been settled, ownership of the property transfers fully to the customer.
According to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), an estimated 4.7mn UK-born people currently live abroad. Al Rayan Bank finances property for people living and working in any country, excluding those on the sanctioned list.
Currently, it offers three products for expats: ‘Expat Buy to Let Purchase Plan’ where the expat customer purchases a property in the UK as an investment with the bank providing 65% finance to value (FTV); ‘holiday home’ HPP where the expat customer purchases a property for their visits to the UK with the bank providing 75% FTV, and ‘Split family’ HPP where one of the customers named on the HPP lives overseas, but the family reside in the UK. The finance is based on the expat’s salary and Al Rayan Bank will provide 80% FTV.
All are available at discounted variable and fixed rental rates.
Al Rayan Bank has pioneered Shariah compliant retail banking in the UK and offers the largest range of Shariah compliant retail financial products in Britain. These include Shariah compliant mortgage alternatives, the Home Purchase Plan (HPP) and Buy to Let Purchase Plan (BTLPP), current accounts and savings accounts. The Bank was the first to introduce Shariah compliant business banking to the UK, and now offers a wide range of institutional and business banking products and services, including Commercial Property Finance. Several of the Bank’s products remain unique in the UK retail financial market.
Whilst Al Rayan Bank offers products and services that are designed in accordance with Shariah principles, it is an inclusive organisation which welcomes customers of all faiths.
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