Islamic Banking

First Islamic Private Bank Launched in Switzerland as Demand Grows

Nick Parmee, 5 October 2006

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Faisal Private Bank Switzerland has been launched as the first exclusively Islamic bank in Switzerland. “Faisal Private Bank Switzerland ...

Faisal Private Bank Switzerland has been launched as the first exclusively Islamic bank in Switzerland.

“Faisal Private Bank Switzerland is the synthesis of over 15 years of experience in the Swiss private banking arena with a distinctive ethical heritage. This will enable us to continue delivering an innovative platform for an international clientele which trusts our private bankers because they are also accountable for their values,” said Marco Rochat, chief executive officer.

The principal shareholder of Faisal Private Bank Switzerland is the Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank.

This development reflects a wider trend noted at the Reuters Wealth Management summit in Geneva where delegates heard that Shariah-compliant bank accounts and investment tools have become mainstream product offerings for wealth managers seeking clients from the Middle East.

"Most of our clients [in the Middle East] do want Islamic products," said Emilio Saracho, head of JP Morgan's European, Middle Eastern and African private banking division.

Christopher Meares, who will soon take over as chief executive of HSBC Private Bank, described Islamic financing as one of wealth management’s fastest-growing areas and estimated that such assets could grow to $10 billion in coming years.

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