Our heritage

Al Rayan Bank is the UK's oldest and largest wholly Sharia compliant retail bank. We've been pioneering British Islamic finance since 2004.

Here is a brief timeline of our story so far…

February 2018

Al Rayan Bank become the first bank in the world to issue a public Sukuk (Islamic bond) for £250m in a non-Muslim country, reinforcing the UK’s position as the western hub for Islamic finance.

January 2018

Al Rayan Bank started the year by winning two prestigious awards, the 'Best Islamic Bank in the UK, 2017' at the Islamic Finance News Awards and the 'UK's Best Cash ISA Provider’ at the eighth annual Moneynet Personal Finance Awards. Al Rayan Bank was also commended in the category of 'UK's Best Fixed Term Savings Provider' at the Moneynet awards.

November 2017

Al Rayan Bank becomes the only Islamic bank in the UK to receive a public rating, obtaining a Aa3 rating from Moody's Investors Service (Moody’s), one of the leading global ratings agencies.

June 2017

Sultan Choudhury, Chief Executive Officer of Al Rayan Bank PLC is named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition of his services to Islamic finance.

June 2017

Al Rayan Bank is named as the 'Best Fixed Savings Account Provider' in the UK by Moneyfacts, the country's leading personal finance data provider at its annual awards ceremony. The Bank is also highly commended in the category of 'Best Savings Account Provider'.

April 2017

Record pre-tax profits of £8.2million are announced by Al Rayan Bank. The 32% increase in pre-tax profits is driven by the rapid growth in Bank's balance sheet which increased by 43% in 2016 to more than £1.44bn.

December 2016

Al Rayan Bank announces that it has become a ‘Billion Pound Bank’, as the value of its retail and commercial assets surpasses £1 billion for the first time. The significant milestone highlights the success of the growth strategy which was implemented following the Bank’s acquisition by Masraf Al Rayan QSC (MAR) in February 2014.

November 2016

Al Rayan Bank opens an office in Glasgow, establishing its presence as the only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank in Scotland. The office is officially opened by Al Rayan Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Sultan Choudhury, and Chief Commercial Officer, Keith Leach, together with key members of the Bank’s executive team.

June 2016

Moneyfacts, the UK's leading personal finance data provider recognises Al Rayan Bank (UK) in three categories, including the highly prestigious ‘Best Bank Savings Provider, at its annual awards. Al Rayan Bank was also highly commended in the category of ‘Best Fixed Account Provider’ and, for the second year running, commended in ‘Best Notice Account Provider’ category.

April 2016

Al Rayan Bank announces that 2015 was the most profitable year in its history, as its post-tax profits rose by more than 700%, from £1.2million in 2014 to £10.3million. The results continue the Bank’s upward profitability trajectory that was set in motion when it was acquired by Masraf Al Rayan, QSC (MAR) in February 2014.

December 2015

Al Rayan Bank is awarded the Investors in People Standard, demonstrating its commitment to realising the potential of its employees. Investors in People is the UK's leading accreditation for business improvement through people management.

September 2015

Al Rayan Bank, which has been headquartered in Birmingham since it was founded in 2004, signals its commitment to the city when it relocates to new state-of-the-art offices in the Edgbaston district of the city. The Bank’s rapid growth, together with its future development plans, has compelled it to find a larger operational headquarters to support its burgeoning workforce.

August 2015

Al Rayan Bank achieves ‘Living Wage Employer’ accreditation and thereby joins companies in the UK that voluntarily opt to pay their employees a ‘Living Wage’. The ‘Living Wage’ is significantly higher than the minimum wage, and also more generous than the new compulsory ‘National Living Wage’, which was introduced in 2016.

May 2015

Al Rayan Bank is named by Global Finance magazine as one of the best Islamic banks in the world, in its annual list of the World’s Best Islamic Financial Institutions. It’s the second time that Al Rayan Bank has won the award, after formerly winning under its previous name of Islamic Bank of Britain in 2009.

May 2015

His Excellency Mr Yousef Ali Al-Khater, Ambassador for the State of Qatar to the United Kingdom officially opens the Al Rayan Bank Private Banking branch in Knightsbridge, London. This flagship branch will provide high net worth individuals and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) clients with exclusive private banking services.

May 2015

Al Rayan Bank announces its strongest financial performance to date, resulting in the Bank more than doubling its operating income and posting its first profit since its inception in 2004.

January 2015

Economic Secretary to the Treasury (City Minister) visits Al Rayan Bank’s offices in Birmingham to celebrate the completion of the UK’s first Sharia compliant Help to Buy: HPP guarantee scheme.

December 2014

Islamic Bank of Britain plc officially changes its name to Al Rayan Bank PLC, marking an exciting chapter in the Bank's history and aligning it more closely with its parent company, Masraf Al Rayan.

September 2014

Supported by the Help to Buy: HPP guarantee scheme (the Sharia compliant alternative to the conventional Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme), the Bank launches a new Home Purchase Plan for people with smaller deposits. The HPP is the UK’s first ever Sharia compliant home finance product to be backed by the Help to Buy: HPP guarantee scheme.

January 2014

Masraf Al Rayan (MAR) acquires Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), becoming its new parent company.

The acquisition represents the combination of two complementary organisations; MAR is Qatar’s largest Sharia compliant bank by profitability with a full-service offering. Since 2006 it has been providing retail, SME, corporate, private banking and investment banking services.

January 2014

The Notice Cash Individual Savings Account (ISA) is launched. The account is the UK’s first Sharia compliant cash ISA and offers consumers an ethical, tax-free way to save.

It means that Muslim consumers who prefer to receive a Sharia compliant return on their savings no longer need to miss out on the tax efficient benefits of an ISA, or compromise their beliefs by placing their deposits in interest-based products.

May 2013

In the biggest development of its home finance range to date, the Bank launches a number of new products to attract a wider audience.  Discounted variable rental rates are introduced for HPP and Buy To Let and a new lower rental rate is offered to customers with a larger deposit of 35%.

April 2013

Qatar International Islamic Bank invests £10m into the business to fund the Bank’s continued asset growth.

December 2012

A record year draws to a close with extremely strong balance sheet growth. Total customer financing increased by 86%, home financing increasing by 92% and retail deposits increased by 22%

September 2012

The Bank’s table topping expected profit rate fixed term deposit account proves extremely popular with the public. Significantly, the majority of the new customers choosing this product are non-Muslim.

June 2012

Qatari bank, Masraf Al Rayan (MAR) announces its intention to purchase 70% of majority shareholder QIIB’s share in IBB, with the Government of the State of Qatar to acquire the other 30%. 

The Bank launches the Young Person’s Notice Savings Account, the UK’s only Sharia compliant notice savings account for children.

February 2012

The Sharia compliant 120 Day Notice Account is launched, with a table topping expected profit rate for the first 60 days. The innovative savings account, which reverts to the standard expected profit rate once the 60 day period is up, proves extremely popular.

November 2011

The Bank enters the expanding buy to let market with the launch of its Buy To Let Purchase Plan (BTLPP).

July 2010

In a sign of confidence in the Bank, founding shareholder Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) invests £20m into the business to allow the bank to continue to grow.

May 2009

The Bank launches its Premier Banking services and opens an office in Knightsbridge, London to liaise with its highest net worth clients from the UK and overseas.

December 2008

The Sharia compliant 60 day Notice Account, the first Islamic notice account for retail customers, is launched with a table topping rate.

September 2008

Due to its emphasis on low risk asset backed finance, the Islamic model of banking proves more resilient to the 2008 credit crunch and subsequent World Financial Crisis than the conventional banking model.

July 2008

The Bank launches the Home Purchase Plan (HPP), a highly competitive product for customers wanting to finance their home purchases in an Islamic and ethical way.

November 2006

Online banking is launched, expanding the Bank's reach well beyond the catchment of its branch network.

September 2006

The Bank launches its first ever commercial property finance product, using the Islamic finance principles of Diminishing Musharakah and Ijara (Diminishing partnership and leasing).

June 2006

The Bank's first account for young people is launched. The YPSA proves an instant success as for the first time Muslims in the UK are able to save for their children's future with a UK bank in a wholly Sharia compliant way.

February 2006

The first branch in the North West opens in Manchester on Stockport Road.

November 2005

The first accounts for mosques and madrassas are launched.

July 2005

The London Whitechapel branch is opened by Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions.

April 2005

Telephone and postal banking are launched for customers.

March 2005

The Bank successfully lobbies the UK government for changes to taxation of Islamic financial products, including profit earned on deposit accounts. This effectively puts Islamic banking products on a level playing field with other comparable non-Islamic financial products.

January/February 2005

Following the launch of its first branch, the Bank follows up quickly with a second and third branch in Birmingham and Leicester.

September 2004

Islamic Bank of Britain plc (IBB), the previous name of Al Rayan Bank, is listed on the Alternative Investment Market. Its Hagley Road, Birmingham headquarters initially employs 50 staff.

The first ever branch opens to the public in London. Employing 9 people, the Edgware Road branch becomes the first ever wholly Sharia compliant retail bank branch in Europe.

August 2004

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) gives the go-ahead for the launch of the first totally Islamic British bank. The approval means that, for the very first time, British Muslims will be able to access banking services from a British bank, wholly operated in accordance with Islamic Sharia principles.

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