Gatehouse Bank has produced four educational videos on Shariah-compliant finance after its own market research identified poor awareness among UK Muslim consumers as a key barrier to adoption.
The videos — all under three minutes long — are designed to help prospective customers, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to gain a better understanding of four key areas:
• What makes Islamic finance products Shariah-compliant?
• What are Home Purchase Plans (HPPs) and how do they work?
• How does Shariah-compliant Buy to Let work?
• What are Shariah-compliant savings accounts?
The release of the videos comes after the Gatehouse 2019 Islamic Finance Consumer Report identified a knowledge gap that was hampering adoption of Islamic finance products.
Underlining the challenge facing the industry, the research revealed that 46 per cent of those UK Muslim consumers surveyed had never used Shariah-compliant products. Awareness and perception is also weak among non-users with only 53 per cent knowing anything about it, and only 35 per cent of non-users viewing it favourably.
More than three in five, meanwhile, (61 per cent) of those surveyed were sceptical about how Islamic the products really are.
Gatehouse Bank’s videos aims to ensure more people consider Shariah-compliant products, when looking for financial services.
The report, published last month, was the first study of its kind to look at the barriers and drivers to adoption of Shariah-compliant products by UK Muslim consumers. Muslim consumers contribute GBP31 billion to the UK economy, boasting a spending power of GBP20.5billion1, yet only 40 per cent of Muslim consumers currently use Islamic finance.
Charles Haresnape, CEO of Gatehouse Bank, says: “The findings of our recent report highlighted there is a significant number of potential customers waiting to be reached. However, it is clear that we need to do a better job of explaining how our products and services work, the benefits of Shariah-compliant finance and how they compare to mainstream financial products.
“These videos are one of the ways we are hoping to increase awareness and understanding but we’re not going to leave it here. This is the start of an on-going piece of work that will see us continue to take our positive message to consumers.”