For savvy savers looking for a better return, aspiring homeowners prepared to think differently and businesses driving for growth, we can help you. We offer a genuine alternative to conventional banks. Grounded in Shariah principles, our products are transparent, fair and socially responsible. This page explains how we work and some of the practical differences to dealing with a conventional bank.
A British, Shariah-compliant bank. What does that mean?
It means we follow a set of principles, derived from Islamic teachings, which promote fair play and ensure that your financial affairs are handled responsibly. The principles affect three main areas:
Under Shariah finance principles, interest isn’t permitted. So we put deposits to good use by investing them to earn you profit on your savings, and we charge rent in our mortgage alternative products (read on to find out how it works).
Use of funds
We make sure the property finance we provide and your deposits are never used to support activities which are against Shariah principles: these include anything to do with alcohol, tobacco, gambling, adult entertainment and arms.
We don't do highly speculative investments and transactions, and in any venture the risk is always shared and mitigated. All our transactions involve real assets, so we do not deal in derivatives.
This way of operating is stable, transparent, and shares risk and reward in an equitable way. That’s why we talk about balanced banking. The principles encourage trading and enterprise that generates wealth for the benefit of the whole community.
And we mean the whole community. Our products and services are available to everyone. Many non-Muslims choose us for our socially responsible approach, transparency, differently designed products, and the competitive rates we offer.
Balanced saving means...
Return on your savings comes in the form of profits, rather than interest.
Your account has an expected profit rate (EPR) of gross annual returns, rather than an interest rate. The EPR is the percentage we aim to earn by investing your deposit in Shariah-compliant assets. Our portfolio of assets includes UK home-building projects, Islamic bonds (sukuk) and property purchase plans for customers looking to buy houses or become landlords.
You receive the profits as returns on your account, which are subject to tax just like interest on a conventional account. To date, we have always paid our customers the expected profit rate. If we ever think the profit rate might turn out to be lower than expected, we’ll let you know what the new rate will be. You can choose to keep your deposit in the account at the new rate, or close your account and withdraw all your funds, along with the profit you’ve earned already.
Balanced property finance means...
You buy the property jointly with the Bank - your deposit is your stake, and we fund the rest as our contribution to the purchase.
The Bank is the registered owner of the property but holds the property for itself and you as the beneficial owners. Rather than the payment of interest, you lease the part of the property owned by the Bank, and pay a monthly rental payment over the agreed finance term. Your monthly payments can cover both rent and payments for acquisition of the Bank’s share, so each payment increases your percentage stake. Once all the payments are made, you’ve bought us out, and full ownership of the property transfers to you.
You can sell the property at any time and there are no early payment charges. If you sell, you only have to pay off the amount equal to the Bank’s purchase contribution remaining at that time. Any increase in the property value only benefits you.
Our Advisory Services
Real Estate Investment Advisory
Our Real Estate team sources, manages and advises on investments across the entire spectrum of the UK commercial property market. This includes the office, industrial, retail and student accommodation sectors. Using our long-established and extensive network, we deliver both on and off-market opportunities.
PRS/Build to Rent
Gatehouse successfully completed its initial £100m Private Rented Sector (PRS) scheme between November 2014 and February 2017 in partnership with Sigma Capital. This created a portfolio of 918 new rental homes, which are let, across 15 sites in Greater Manchester and Merseyside.
We ensure all property assets are never used to support sectors that aren’t compliant with Shariah principles. These include; alcohol, tobacco, gambling, adult entertainment, arms and other prohibited activities as guided by our Shariah Supervisory Board.