Banks that conform to Islamic financial practice are on the rise among Germany’s Muslim population of around five million, a spokesman for KT Bank, a subsidiary of an Istanbul-based bank, said in Cologne on Friday.
“We are on course and have attained our targets for 2017,” Ferhat Aslanoglu said, adding that “KT Bank was the sole financial institution in the eurozone basing its transactions on Islamic practice.”
The bank began operations in Germany two and a half years ago with branches in Frankfurt, Mannheim, Berlin and Cologne.
Aslanoglu said KT Bank now had 10,000 customers in Germany.
Financial analyst Philipp Wackerbeck, a partner in the Strategy and Consultancy firm sees up to 300,000 potential customers for Islamic banking in Germany.
Under sharia, paying and receiving interest is banned, along with investments in sectors seen as unethical, such as tobacco, pork or armaments.
An ethical council decides on the acceptability of products and contracts.
KT Bank, a fully owned subsidiary of the Kuveyt Turk mutual bank in Istanbul, is also hoping to attract customers among non-Muslims wishing to invest on ethical principles.