In the spotlight with Emma Kelman, Business Development Manager, Gatehouse Bank

In the spotlight with Emma Kelman, Business Development Manager, Gatehouse Bank

This editorial was featured in Financial Reporter

1) Can you tell us a bit about you and your role as Business Development Manager at Gatehouse Bank?

My role as a Business Development Manager at Gatehouse Bank entails managing existing and new broker relationships in London and the South East. This means that a typical day for me is dynamic and diverse. It can involve attending meetings with brokers to discuss our unique proposition, speaking to advisors about new enquiries or submission queries, or outlining our packaging requirements and how Shariah-compliant finance works in practice.

One of my key responsibilities is to build and maintain relationships with brokers, and I’ve managed to build an extensive network across London and the South East over my 25-year career so far. This is one of the elements of the job that I enjoy the most, and I continue to build on these relationships and make new connections as part of my day-to-day role.

2) How have you found your experience working in the Shariah-compliant housing market compared to your previous roles with conventional home finance providers?

I’ve always worked in the specialist finance sector, but this is my first role in Shariah-compliant finance, which comes with a few differences in terms of legal processes, structure and terminology.

There are a few key distinctions between Shariah-compliant and conventional home finance. For example, Gatehouse Bank offers Home Purchase Plans, which are often referred to as a Shariah-complaint alternative to a conventional mortgage. Home Purchase Plans entail a partnership between the customer and finance provider, who jointly purchase the property, with the customer acquiring an increasing portion of the home with each monthly payment.

My favourite part of my role at Gatehouse Bank is its unique proposition and the questions that it brings. I have encountered a few prevalent misconceptions around Shariah-compliant finance, which motivates me to raise awareness of our product proposition.

3) How have you seen the Shariah-compliant Home Finance market grow throughout your career?

Since joining Gatehouse Bank in 2022, I’ve observed growing demand for and awareness of Shariah-compliant home finance alternatives. A growing number of customers now specifically request Shariah-compliant products, and it’s been great to see more networks, clubs and directly authorised advisers recognising the benefits of having Gatehouse Bank on their panel.

Our partnerships with networks such as The Right DA Club and Envelop Network are immensely important to us, providing access to our products to their broker members, as well as enabling us to raise awareness of Shariah-compliant finance more widely.

4) What are some of the common misconceptions around Islamic Home Finance that you have seen?

One of the most common misconceptions is that Shariah-compliant finance is exclusively available to those of the Muslim faith. However, this is not the case, as Gatehouse Bank’s products and services are open to everyone – of all religions, and none.

Another misconception about Shariah-compliant finance is that the customer doesn’t benefit from any appreciation in property value. However, Gatehouse Bank’s products are designed to ensure that any increase in the value of the property benefit the customer. The Bank is committed to selling its share of the property back to the customer at a fixed price.

In reality, many choose to opt for Shariah-compliant alternatives as they are guided by a socially-conscious set of principles, which naturally align to several sustainable development frameworks. For example, Shariah-compliant Banks such as Gatehouse do not invest in any sectors perceived to cause harm to society, such as alcohol, adult entertainment, gambling, tobacco or the arms