Al Rayan

Islamic bank opens new London office to meet commercial finance demand



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Al Rayan Bank has opened a new office in London's West End to support its growing commercial finance business.

The expansion follows the appointment of two new recruits from Nationwide Building Society in April, which increased the bank’s commercial property team to 11 frontline staff.

Commercial property financing was the fastest-growing element of Al Rayan Bank’s real estate asset book in 2016, climbing 44% to £396.5m.

“Customers chose commercial property finance from Al Rayan Bank for many reasons,” said Maisam Faisal, head of commercial property finance at Al Rayan Bank (pictured above, left).

“For some, it is the fact that we are an Islamic bank and only offer Sharia-compliant financing; for others, it is our commercial approach and our highly experienced staff who can help structure transactions to suit clients’ requirements.”

Al Rayan Bank has financed projects ranging from town retail parks, mixed-use industrial warehouses and student property.

The bank has also completed a number of syndication deals, enabling it to fund larger projects such as the former Olympic village site in east London.

Its client base is a mixture of corporate, family office and private investors from the UK, Qatar and the wider Gulf Cooperation Council region.

Among these is private equity real estate investor and asset manager Investra Investments Ltd, which maintains commercial and operational accounts with the bank, as well as utilising its finance for real estate acquisition.

“Al Rayan Bank has made it simpler for us to do business in the UK and the location of the new office is going to make it even easier,” added Zaid Randeree, CEO of Investra Investments Ltd.

“For some of our clients, Sharia-compliant finance is an absolute necessity.

“Prior to working with Al Rayan Bank, we had to make use of conventional banks in the UK, and then subsequently apply structures to ensure that the funding was permissible.

“Now this is no longer an issue and we can focus our efforts on continuing to provide great service to our clients.”

Also pictured: Sultan Choudhury, CEO of Al Rayan Bank (right)

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