NAB launches Islamic finance product for SMEs

Major lender announces unique product for niche market segment

NAB launches Islamic finance product for SMEs


By Mike Wood

NAB have announced a market first for Australian SME lending by building a bespoke Islamic finance product for their small business customers.

The Big Four bank has worked closely with Amanie Advisors, a global firm specialising in helping companies that want to be Sharia compliant, to create an offering that appeals directly to the Muslim community in Australia.

Islamic finance is growing as a market propositionv, and this offering from NAB responds to the demands of one of Australia’s most active SME sectors: in the UK, where the Islamic community is far more established, a disproportionately higher number of Muslims are self-employed or small business owners.

It is a unique form of finance that avoids charging interest, which is forbidden for observant Muslims.

“We’re really proud to be able to offer such a valuable service to Australia’s Muslim community,” said Dr Imran Lum, director of Islamic finance at NAB’s Deal Structuring and Execution team.

“There are some really interesting structural elements that we negotiated to finalise this latest offering in order to ensure that we comply with Australian federal and state tax laws and at the same time remain true to Islamic principles.”

“We’re looking forward to further opportunities to roll out this financing product, which is designed to cater for transactions over $5 million for commercial property development and construction purposes.”

An early recipient of NAB’s Islamic finance services has been Binah, a construction company in Sydney.

“Working with NAB has been brilliant. Being able to work with a team who understands our unique requirements has made the whole process seamless,” said their managing directors, Amen Zoabi and Khalil Hafza.

“With this financing in place, we’re now able to deliver a wider range of projects all over Sydney and scale our operations to maximise our potential and growth in the next decade.”

What is Islamic Finance? Discover more here.

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