The Sunday Telegraph reports today that the National Australia Bank (NAB) is to offer “Muslim-friendly” loans that do not charge interest.
For the trial’s purposes NAB will pump $15 million from its not-for-profit finance division into the program, which will distribute the funds through various community finance schemes around the country. The bank will monitor the take-up and assess potential demand.
Interest-free loans of up to $1000 will be available to help finance household items, such as washing machines and fridges.
The loans would also be available to non-Muslims.
This seems to be NAB’s No Interest Loan Scheme which does not appear to be specifically targeted at Muslims although the fact that it is interest-free would obviously appeal to the Muslim community. These loans are only available to low-income earners who cannot borrow money from elsewhere on account of their low income. It’s unclear whether the NAB would also extend these loans to Muslims who cannot borrow money from elsewhere on account of their religious beliefs.