Lloyds TSB has launched a new bank account that enables Muslims to transfer money around the world without breaking the rules of Islam.
The group claimed its Islamic Nostro Account was the first of its kind to be offered by a mainstream Western bank. When individuals and businesses send money to other countries the funds are passed through a Nostro account.
The Lloyds TSB account is designed to comply with the principles of Shariah law, and it does not pay interest on any money held in the account and does not offer an overdraft facility.
It also guarantees that funds will not be invested in certain industries, such as those involved in alcohol or gambling, which are prohibited under Islam.
There are around two million Muslims in the UK and around 100,000 Muslim firms, many of which regularly make or receive international payments through the 250 Islamic banks worldwide.
Diana Brightmore-Armour, chief executive of corporate banking at Lloyds TSB, said: "Lloyds TSB has established itself as one of the leading providers of Islamic finance across the UK. But we are now seeing a rising demand, from Muslim businesses and personal customers, for Islamic banking across borders.
"We've designed this account to help the growing number of Islamic banks across the world, which deal with our customers' transactions.
"We're providing the missing link in the chain, so now any person or business receiving payments from abroad into their own Islamic account knows the money will be dealt with according to Islamic law, from start to finish."
The new account is the latest in a series of Shariah compliant products launched by Lloyds TSB in the past two years, including a current account, business and corporate account, a mortgage product and an investment fund.
Source: Press Association (English)