Q: Do I HAVE to use an Islamic account for my business banking?
I have recently set up a limited company and need to open a business account. The only ‘halal’ business account I can find is from the Islamic Bank of Britain. My issue with them is that they charge for almost everything including withdrawing money, making a debit card purchase, etc. I am not sure if these charges are allowed i.e. whether some of them could be classified as usury.
If the tariffs/charges are haraam and not permissible, am I able to open up an account at a conventional bank like Santander (who actually don’t charge for anything, their business account is completely free). The reason I ask this is because the closest Islamic Bank of Britain is about 45-60mins away and it will be difficult to keep going there for banking issues. I am not looking for an excuse to set up the business account at a local conventional bank but I am simply looking for the correct route to follow based on Islam. If IBB is ‘halal’ than I am prepared to travel there for my banking needs so that my income/rizq is halal.
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: A bank may levy a service charge for the service it provides and this is not considered riba.
However, you can bank with Santander if this is a riba-free account. In this case a Shar‘iah compliant account is preferable but not obligatory.
If, however, the only account available is interest based then you must opt for a Shar‘iah compliant account.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt
Chair Al-Qalam Sharia Scholars Panel