The provision of business banking services in shari’a compliant form has not kept pace with the availability of personal financial services. The large-scale corporate finance sector is mostly concerned with companies based outside the United Kingdom, while the provision of banking services to local companies is mostly aimed at small businesses. To date, there have been very few attempts to provide halaal venture capital in the United Kingdom. The one notable example is discussed below.
The Islamic Bank of Britain has a dedicated branch for commercial services, opened at the end of 2007. It is situated in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham, the city in which the IBB’s head office is also located. Birmingham has a very large Muslim population and one aspect of this is the presence of a great many small businesses run by Muslim families or individuals. The services available through the commercial office are available from any branch, but in this one they are given a particular promotional emphasis. It is open to the public for only two hours a day and works mainly through personal interviews and consultations.