Islamic banking is fast gaining ground globally and this is evident from the number of banks and other financial institutions taking it up and offering it to their customers in recent times. The latest statistics from the World Bank show that Shariah compliant financial services have gone up quite a notch over the last decades, and the growth is not stopping there. It is estimated that Islamic Banking assets will reach 1.6 Trillion USD by 2018, having grown at a steady rate of 19.7% over the 5 year period 2013-2018.
Banking demands change over time and local banks are not to be left behind in offering their clients these Shariah compliant financial assets. As it stands now, Shariah banking products take up 2% of the market share in Kenya. KCB Group has launched its Islamic Banking unit in a bid to take advantage of the growing demand of Islamic financial products in the East African Region. Under a proposition dubbed ‘KCB Sahl Banking’, KCB intends to roll out the full Shariah compliant products after getting all the necessary regulatory approvals. Interestingly, these services target both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Islamic banking is banking that works in accordance with the Islamic faith, and operates in an environment where giving or receiving of interest is prohibited. It is designed to acknowledge the sensitivities of this particular group of clients by ensuring that money is invested justly and ethically. This product will progressively facilitate development in the marginalized areas as well as deepen financial coverage and inclusiveness.