THE National Bank of Commerce (NBC), a subsidiary of Absa, has launched Islamic Banking in Tanzania, making it the biggest in that country.
This move places Absa ahead of its competitors in the financial services sector after the announcement on Monday.
NBC's managing director Christo de Vries said the new service is part of the company's banking strategy to provide innovative products to meet the needs of the market.
"The introduction of Islamic Banking in the Tanzanian market is aimed at ensuring that we offer products which appeal to all Tanzanians regardless of their faith or background."
The concept of NBC's Islamic Banking offers the options of cheque account and savings account, with an embedded funeral plan which is built around the Sharia laws governing Muslims.
"The service will be managed in line with clear guidelines Sharia lays down for the management of money, one of which is the absence of interest on current and savings accounts," said De Vries.
Although the service will mostly appeal to Muslim clientele, it will be completely open to everyone regardless of their faith. In terms of account opening, Islamic Banking will be conducted exactly the same way as opening a conventional account. However, the product features will differ based on Sharia principles.
The new service makes the bank the largest in Tanzania with over 50 branches.