The initiation of fully -equipped Islamic Banking in Kenya has been willingly expected by the Muslim society.  They have  seen establishing of Islamic banking windows by a number of conventional banks for laşt two years.   Both the Barclays Bank (Kenya) Limited and Kenya Commercial Bank Limited perform  Islamic windows with the former branding its services, “LARIBA Banking”.

The Access  of both Gulf African Bank and the First Community Bank into the market  is awaited to show  the first 100% Shari’ah complaint financial foundations with a range  of products for their clients.  There is presently a number of expectations  from both Muslims and non-Muslims for this alternate form of banking that will bring in a new type of partnership and interest free banking.  The public has badly affected  for too long by  high interest rates and vaporizing wavering of interest rates by conventional banks.

Current market surveys show  that a large portion of the Muslim society stays untapped by the banking sector  because of either non availability of riba-free banking or low returns.  The research also shows that potential moneymaking  markets for Islamic banking will be the trade society in Nairobi, Mombasa and other towns with respectable Muslim societies.  However, the dispute will  be to persuade  the Muslim community that these are really  fully-equipped Islamic banks with respectable Shari’ah advisory boards of global standards.  Both Muslim and non-Muslims expect to interest-free banking service that is sufficient, modern, stable, clear and client  friendly.  These banks will be needed to invest greatly  in the latest state of the art technology to diminish  costs and remain competitive with conventional banks.

The government and the  Central Bank of Kenya  have the challenge of initiating  the market and altering the Banking Act and Prudential Guidelines to show  this new fact  as has  seen in South Africa, Europe, the United States, Canada, the Middle East, Far East and Australia.  Kenya has the potential of being like Bahrain, the centre of Islamic banking in that area.  The participation of the Islamic Development Bank, PTA Bank, IFC and Islamic banks and investors in the Middle East is very important to change this into a reality.  The regional market is enormous  as both Muslims and non-Muslims greet  this form of banking that is clear, and offer caring partnership and free from the doubtfulness  of interest rate waverings.


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