HSBC's Islamic banking arm has opened a new branch in Bandar Baru Bangi, Malaysia, making it the first foreign bank to open in the area.
The new branch of HSBC Amanah Malaysia offers a range of shariah-compliant financial solutions, including retail banking, wealth management and commercial banking. More branches are planned for next months as the company tries to meet the growing demand for comprehensive Islamic finance services.
"Bangi is well-known for its substantial neighbourhood size, business area and landmark institutions of higher education. Its diverse population makes it deal for us to be part of this community," said Haneef Rafe, chief executive of HSBC Amanah.
The Islamic finance industry gained extra attention after emerging from the 2008 banking crisis relatively unscathed. Islamic banking is defined as a financial activity that adheres to the principles of Islamic law, which includes a ban on specific interest rates or fees for loans and investing in businesses that offer products that contradict Muslim practices.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Malaysia is the largest Islamic banking and financial market, with banking assets reaching RM113.5 billion ($30.9 billion) and Takaful, or insurance, assets reaching RM6.2 billion ($1.7 billion).
To-date, HSBC Amanah has 15 branches across the country.