“Sharia loans” in Norway?

August 12, 2010

Several Norwegian banks are considering introducing interest-free loans, to circumvent the prohibition of interest for Muslims. In this way they want to reach out to a new and growing customer group.

Big banks such as DnB NOR, Nordea and Sparebank 1 confirm that they plan to offer such loans. “In a few years we can have Sharia loans in Norway,” says Thomas Midteide from DnB Nor. And head of Nordea Thomas Sevang says “we have not focused on these loans before due to lack of a customer base, but it may well be that Sharia loans come up on the agenda.”

Shoaib Sultan, Secretary General of the Islamic Council of Norway, comments that many Muslims may suffer from the lack of possibilities of such loans in Norway. “We expect that when the need becomes great enough, then private companies come in to fill the need,” says Sultan.