Nomo launches as UK’s newest Islamic digital bank
A new Islamic-focused and Shariah-complaint digital bank, Nomo, has launched in the UK.
Nomo promises “fast and secure” access to a compliant account, with a sign-up process it claims takes just a few minutes.
The bank, which offers an app as well as a virtual and physical Mastercard, says users can spend in both GBP and USD.
Like many new challengers, it also allows international transfers in-app with “low, flat fees”. Nomo is also promising “smart, flexible investments” via fixed-term deposits.
Nomo is operated and owned by the Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME). BLME is itself a subsidiary of Kuwait-based Boubyan Bank, founded in 2004.
Boubyan Bank runs the iMAL Islamic core banking system from Path Solutions.
The digital bank’s Mastercard is issued by Monavate, pursuant to a licence from the card issuer.
“As well as daily banking services, Nomo provides Shariah-compliant investment opportunities by offering fixed-term deposits,” says Boubyan Group CEO Adel Al-Majed.
“Boubyan Group has proudly pioneered this state-of-the-art digital bank that provides Islamic digital banking services, accessible from anywhere in the world.”
Islamic finance in the UK
The four incumbent UK Islamic banks hold some £5 billion in assets. 12 high street banks also currently offer Sharia-compliant banking services.
In the UK, Islam is the second largest religion. Muslims make up 5% of England’s population – more than 2.5 million, according to census data.
In December, the Bank of England (BoE) created a new alternative liquidity facility (ALF) for Islamic institutions.
The UK has a handful of Islamic challenger banks already and has over 30 fintechs focused on Shariah-compliant finance, more than Malaysia, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).