Saudi scholar in rare attack on Islamic banks

Scholar accuses Shariah banks of charging for balance statements, lauds other banks

A prominent Saudi Muslim scholar has launched a rare attacked on Shariah-compliant bank for charging their customers seeking a balance statement, newspapers in the Gulf Kingdom reported. 

Sheikh Adel Al Kalbani said he had received a text on his mobile phone from a “well-known” Islamic bank charging him SR120 (Dh118) for having a written statement of his balance in the bank.

Newspapers quoted him as saying in his Twitter page that non-Islamic banks do not charge their clients for balance statements.

“Islamic banks are charging their customers for services involving just a balance statement while other banks give such statements free,”he said.

“How comes that Islamic banks charge fees for such a simple service…we wonder whether these banks are blackmailing their clients.”

Only a handful of Saudi Arabia’s 12 commercial banks are Shariah-compliant but most other banks have opened Islamic services units.

Saudi Arabia has the Arab world’s second largest banking sector after the UAE in terms of assets.

 

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