INVESTMENT BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Maybank Singapore launches the first Syariah-compliant savings account

This account caters to the local population of around 450,000 Muslims.

Muslims going on the Hajj, a Muslim religious pilgrimage to Mecca, will now have the option of saving for the pilgrimage with Maybank Singapore’s Ar Rihla Regular Savings Account-i. Savers with this Syariah-compliant account may be rewarded with a bonus gift or hibah at the end of each 12-month period. This product is supported by the Singapore Islamic Scholars & Religious Teachers Association.

The Ar Rihla RSA-i is essentially a Syariah-compliant Passbook Savings Account that is based on the Wadiah concept, which guarantees that customers’ savings are free from interests. In addition, any usage of funds from such accounts as a source of investment or financing will also be done by the Bank in a Syariah-compliant manner.

Like any ordinary savings account, the deposits are guaranteed up to SGD 50,000 under the Deposit Insurance Scheme in Singapore, and customers can withdraw any amount when the need arises. At the Bank’s discretion, customers may be rewarded with the bonus gift, if they save the pre-agreed sum regularly. Customers can start saving from a low minimum of SGD 50 a month and for a period ranging from 12 months to 10 years.

Said Mr Mohd Ismail Hussein, Head of Islamic Banking, Maybank Singapore, “It is estimated that every year, between 7,000 to 8,500 Muslims go on either the Hajj or the Umrah pilgrimage, and year-on-year, the costs of making the trip is rising 3 to 5 per cent.

In 2011, a standalone pilgrimage package costs about SGD 10,000 for Hajj and between SGD 2,000 and SGD 3,500 for the shorter religious pilgrimage, known as Umrah. This latest product will serve to complement Maybank Singapore’s existing range of Islamic offerings. We hope to encourage Muslim customers to set aside savings so that they can perform the religious obligation of Hajj or Umrah, and have the peace of mind that the savings product they use is Syariah-compliant.”

PERGAS welcomes Maybank Singapore’s offer of this Syariah-compliant savings product
to the Muslim community. Said Ustaz Muhammad Hasbi, President of PERGAS, “We want to provide the best of savings products to our Muslim community that must be based on the Islamic guideline of Syariah-compliance. We are confident that this Ar Rihla Regular Savings Account-i will help the Muslim community perform the fifth pillar of Islam.”  

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