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Wahed to launch UK-based Islamic challenger bank with Niyah’s acquisition

By Megha Bhattacharya

December 24, 2020

  • UK
  • Wahed
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US-based Islamic finance FinTech company, Wahed announced it will acquire UK-based Niyah Ltd in a bid to create a banking app and ethical financial platform focused on the Muslim community. Niyah aims to help the underserved Muslim community in the UK and beyond to manage their money with ease and invest in line with their ethical values.

Junaid Wahedna, CEO of Wahed said, “We are excited about welcoming Niyah to our business. Our vision of creating a parallel financial ecosystem that helps minimise wealth inequality is one step closer as clients will now be able to allow their savings to work for them without partaking in the traditional money lending infrastructure. It’s a perfect fit for us and for our customers.”

He added, “Outside the Islamic world the UK has a long-standing reputation as a leading fintech hub and a major centre for Islamic finance. Acquiring Niyah and launching our first banking services here enables us to leverage the opportunities that Britain’s unique financial hub brings, and to tap into a wide and underserved customer base that is receptive to our service offering.”

The acquisition will enable Wahed to serve the UK market with the provision of access to interest-free financial products including digital bank accounts, debit cards and investments through a user-friendly mobile app. The company plans to expand its banking reach to other parts of the world, including North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Ali Abdulkadir, CEO of Niyah said, “We are delighted to have signed this deal with Wahed. The acquisition goes to the heart of the company’s vision to continue to grow an Islamic finance marketplace that is driven by the needs of the consumer and their rising demands for ethical investments. Wahed has an excellent track record for delivering services to an underserved market, and with the support of Railsbank, it can continue to expand its banking offering beyond the UK.”

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