Al Rayan Bank current accounts review

If you’re looking for a Sharia-compliant bank account, find out whether the accounts on offer from Al Rayan could be right for you.

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Al Rayan Bank

Al Rayan Bank focuses on banking activities that are in keeping with the ethical values of Islam. It offers a range of banking products, including current accounts, home finance products and savings accounts.

Types of current accounts from Al Rayan

Al Rayan offers 3 different types of current accounts for its customers: a personal current account, a business current account and a premier current account.

Personal current account

This is a straightforward everyday bank account that does not charge or pay any interest, in keeping with the rules and laws of Islam. Funds deposited into the account will be administered in accordance with Sharia principles. The account comes with a debit card and a cheque book.

Business current account

No profit is paid on the account and your money is invested ethically. This means it will be invested in Sharia-compliant goods and services and not in alcohol or tobacco. You’ll need to pay at least £500 into the account to open it and it also comes with a debit card and cheque book.

Premier current account

This is an account suitable for those who have at least £500,000 in savings or investments with Al Rayan Bank or who have a joint/sole annual income of at least £100,000 (this must be paid into your account) or who have home finance of £500,000 or more.

With the premier account, you’ll benefit from a “dedicated relationship manager” who will be fluent in Arabic and experienced in Islamic banking. The account has a monthly fee of £20, but this will be waived if you hold at least £50,000 on deposit with Al Rayan Bank or you are a Home Purchase Plan customer.

Benefits of opening an account with Al Rayan

There are several benefits to opening a current account with Al Rayan:

  • Sharia compliant. If you want to bank according to Sharia law or you would prefer not to lend your money to businesses that provide goods or services such as tobacco, gambling and alcohol, Al Rayan’s accounts could be right for you.
  • International payments. For a fee, you can send money to accounts outside the UK. Receiving money from outside the UK is free.
  • Fee-free foreign card transactions. You can spend on your debit card abroad without paying a foreign transaction fee. For cash withdrawals, you’ll pay a £1.50 withdrawal fee. Note that your card cannot be used in certain countries. View the list here.
  • Round the clock access. You can access your account via telephone or online banking 24/7.
  • Multiple ways to bank. You can manage your account online, via the app, by post or in branch. The bank has a branch at Edgware Road and Knightsbridge, London. Note that all transactions carried out at the Knightsbridge branch counter will cost £5 per transaction (up to a maximum of £5 per day).

How to open an account

You can apply for an Al Rayan Bank account online, by post or by popping into one of its branches. Non-UK residents must apply in branch with their documents.

You’ll need to show both proof of identity, such as a passport or driving licence, and proof of address, such as a utility bill or bank statement.

Note that if you do not hold a UK passport and your main residence is not in the UK, you will have to pay a £20 monthly account maintenance fee. This will be waived if you hold at least £50,000 on deposit or if you are a Home Purchase Plan Premier customer.

Is Al Rayan safe?

Yes, Al Rayan Bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and PRA. Deposits held with the bank will be protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

This means that up to £85,000 of your money will be protected in the event the bank goes bust. If this were to happen, you could make a claim to the FSCS and get your money back.

Pros and cons of Al Rayan

Pros

  • Sharia-compliant banking
  • No monthly account fee for personal and business accounts (unless you are not a UK resident)
  • Fee-free foreign transactions
  • Several ways to bank
  • FSCS protection

Cons

  • Fee applies to international payments
  • If you bank at Knightsbridge, a £5 fee applies
  • No overdraft to fall back on

Customer service information for Al Rayan Bank

Email support
Telephone support
In-app or live chat
Contact form
Branch support

Our verdict

For those looking for a Sharia-compliant bank account, whether for personal use or business use, Al Rayan is well worth considering. Thanks to its fee-free foreign transactions, its accounts could be particularly beneficial if you regularly travel overseas. The bank’s mobile app also makes it easy to bank on the go 24/7.

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