Islamic Shariah-compliant banks should be named ethical banks because their present name has monopolizing implications and banks are just a small part of the overall Islamic economy, a prominent Saudi Islamic banker has said.
Saleh Abdullah Kamel, chairman and founder of the Saudi Shariah-compliant Dallah Al Baraka Group, criticized some Islamic banks which he said have recently started to copy traditional Western banking services.
â€œI am against calling Islamic banks this name because I am against any party which tries to monopolize Islam,â€ he said in remarks published in Bahraini newspapers.
â€œIslamic banks should be called ethical banks and Islamic economy should become ethical economyâ€¦.all heavenly religions prohibit usury so it is not acceptable to squeeze Islamic economy into banking units that do not deal in usuryâ€¦Islamic economy is much bigger than thisâ€¦it is a comprehensive financial system that protect rights and ensures a decent life for people.â€
Kamel, one of the richest 15 people in the Arab World, said conventional banks normally act as an intermediary between the â€œmoney owner and the user.â€
â€œIn Islam, there is no such intermediaryâ€¦in Islam, there is a partnership in money and effortâ€¦.while Islamic banks have recorded substantial growth over the past years to accumulate nearly $1.3 trillion in assets, there has been a decline on the qualitative levelâ€¦.many of them have started to copy Western banks under Islamic titles without making any innovations,â€ he said.