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Mark Battersby

Standard Chartered launches Islamic wealth product range aimed at HNWIs

From Products Jul 5 2012 BY: Mark Battersby , Editor , International Adviser

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Standard Chartered Private Bank has launched a suite of Islamic wealth management products aimed at high net worth clients across its offices in Dubai, Geneva, London and Jersey.

The package, aimed at plugging industry gaps in the availability of Shariah compliant products, covers fiduciary deposits, property financing, equities, Islamic fixed income instruments (Sukuks), mutual funds (including exchange-traded funds), third-party structured products and discretionary services.

Khalid El Gibaly, regional head of consumer banking, UAE and Middle East, Standard Chartered Bank, said: "We have identified a latent demand among our existing and prospective private banking clients for Islamic private banking solutions.

He added that the products would “bridge the service gap between conventional and Islamic Banking.”

Standard Chartered’s view of Islamic banking is that it has become a significant part of the mainstream as the gap between conventional and Islamic banking solutions has narrowed substantially.

Islamic banking assets, which are growing twice as fast as conventional banking assets, are expected to reach $1.1 trillion globally in 2012, up 33% from 2010, the bank stated.

Delivery of the Islamic package is through Standard Chartered Saadiq, the bank's Islamic banking arm which has over 18 years of experience in Islamic banking and finance, and operates in six markets.

Stephen Richards Evans, regional head of private banking, Europe, Middle East, India, Africa and Americas, Standard Chartered said, "In the GCC alone, there are more than 500,000 high net worth individuals with net investible assets of over $1.7 trillion and this number is rapidly growing in light of relatively better economic conditions in the region compared to other parts of the world. However, this segment remains one of the most underdeveloped and underserved amongst all the Islamic banking client segments.”

Standard Chartered Private Bank has fully trained and certified its team of relationship managers in Islamic banking, which is additionally supported by Islamic banking experts, to engage with clients on their private banking needs.

Wasim Akhtar Saifi, Group Head of Islamic Banking, Consumer Banking, Standard Chartered Saadiq, said, "Although Islamic banking solutions have become increasingly available, there are few viable Shariah compliant alternatives for HNWIs. Muslim HNWIs are restricted to the conventional offering of traditional private banks.

There is a need to adopt a more holistic view towards wealth management for this segment. The launch of Islamic financial solutions for our private banking clients broadens the overall spectrum of wealth management solutions available to those seeking Shariah compliance. We plan to continue to expand the range of Shariah compliant solutions to address evolving client needs."

Standard Chartered has an independent Shariah supervisory committee comprising of “renowned islamic scholars” Dr. Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah, Sheikh Nizam Yaqubi and Dr Mohammad Ali Elgari, who have the responsibility of certifying the products to ensure strict compliance to Shariah requirements.

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