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BLME Celebrates 5 Years of Trust, Integrity and Ethical Banking  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN Press - 08/08/2012

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(MENAFN Press) Bank of London and The Middle East ("BLME"), the largest fully Islamic bank in Europe,has celebratedits fifth anniversary of receiving FSA authorisation in July 2007. In the last five years BLME has established its business platform and developed new business lines and products that provide diverse, sustainable and integrated wholesale banking and wealth management services.

Humphrey Percy, CEO of BLME, said:

"Over the last five years the financial services industry has faced considerable challenges alongside global economic turmoil. Despite this, BLME hasdelivered across the board, with key successes in the growth of our Wealth Management business and Corporate Banking divisions.

"Our success to date has been built upon a return to the more traditional banking values of trust, fairness and integrity, providing clients with ethical corporate banking, treasury and wealth management services across Europe and the GCC."

Commenting on the anniversary, Nigel Denison, Head of Wealth Management,said:

"We have striven to bring balance and choice to the Islamicwealth management industry. We offer a strongly performing fund range which includes an innovative light industrial building fund and top performing income funds. Our success in this area has been supported by the buoyant Sukuk market with 2012 issuance looking set to beat 2011 which was itself a record year."

"These funds are offered in addition to our private banking services.We aim to provide innovative products that allow clients to diversify their portfolios and generate a sustainable return while helping to manage risk in an increasingly volatile market. In addition we offer a property sourcing and acquisition service which was launched recently followingsignificant demand from our GCC client base."

Jervis Rhodes, Head of Corporate Banking at BLME said:

"BLME has successfully positioned itself as a funder of choice to the SME and mid-cap market, which is currently under-banked by the conventional financial institutions. We have found that building relationships and focusing on providing individual and sustainable solutions for our property, leasing and trade finance clients has created a solid platform for continued growth. "

Graeme Laing, Head of Leasing at BLME, commented:

"The increase in demand for Islamic leasing has certainly been stimulated by the current economic climate. During the last five years we have provided our clients with over 500 million in funding “ a considerable achievement. Thissustained growth demonstrates our ability to provide competitive financing solutions for global companies as well as SMEs. We expect 2012 to continue to deliver opportunities for BLME and look forward to further supporting growth in the UK."

Humphrey Percy, concluded:

"I am extremely proud of our growth story to date. We remainvery positive about the future, and believe that there are major opportunities to further develop our business across Europe and the GCC, building on the significant momentum we have achieved since launch."

Islamic Finance now representsa US1 trillion market and despite on-goingeconomic uncertainty, demand for Islamic finance in the UK remains robust.

About BLME
Bank of London and The Middle East plc ("BLME") is an independent UK wholesale Islamic bank based in London, with a strong and established reputation as a quality provider of specialised financing solutions to institutions and high net-worth individuals across Europe and the GCC regions. BLME received FSA authorisation in July 2007 and is the largest of its peers in Europe. It is led by a management team that brings together a combination of experienced international bankers and leading experts in Islamic finance.BLME has three key business areas; Corporate Banking, Treasury and Wealth Management that includes Asset Management and Private Banking. To ensure that BLME's services and operations are wholly Sharia'a compliant, the Bank has a dedicated Sharia'a Supervisory Board ("SSB"). The SSB's role is to review contracts and agreements relating to all transactions ensuring that they are consistent with the principles of Islamic jurisprudence.About Islamic bankingIslamic Finance upholds the principles of fairness, integrity and transparency. The principle of fairness is reflected in the risk and reward-sharing element that forms the foundation of every Islamic financial transaction. Islamic finance aims to create business activities that generate a fair and equitable profit from transactions that are backed by real assets. This method of financing avoids speculation, short selling and excessive credit creation whilst encouraging sound risk management procedures. Islamic banking has a robust system of risk management and self-regulation to ensure that each transaction is transparent and that the appropriate due diligence and higher standards of disclosure required are observed. To ensure compliance with these requirements each transaction and agreement is reviewed and approved by a Sharia'a Supervisory Board. This Sharia'a specific regulation and governance is in addition to the conventional regulation that applies to all UK based financial institutions.


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