Ruling on opening a current account in a Riba-based bank
Fatwa No: 265492

  • Fatwa Date:10-10-2014 - Thul-Hijjah 16, 1435
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Question

Asallam u Alaikum, I keep my money in Barclays Bank in the Uk and don't take any interest as it is a current account to keep my money safe. I have heard there is no bank here that is completely interest free(even the islamic bank). Recently I heard this bank where I keep my money is a major shareholder in an Israeli arms company(I'm not sure if this is true). Is it sinful if I keep my money in this bank? Also the bank gave me compensation of 70 pounds once as I had requested a pin device three times and they had delayed sending it. Was this halal money as they said it was compensation for the inconvenience not interest.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and messenger.

First of all, we advise you to transfer your account to any Islamic bank because, although Sharee‘ah violations may be present in them, they are still much better than Riba-based banks. We have already stated in many Fataawa that it is not permissible to open an account in a Riba-based bank, even if it is a current account, as long as there are Islamic banks available.

In case it is permissible for you to open an account in a Riba-based bank, then as long as you are not sure or believe with all likelihood that the mentioned bank is a shareholder in an Israeli arms company, then there is no sin on your part in doing business with such a bank and you are not obliged to boycott it.

Also, we do not find anything in the Sharee‘ah prohibiting you from accepting money that is paid to you for the delay in giving you a pin device, as it appears that the amount is not given to you in return for saving your money with the bank, or because of a delay in repayment.

Had you not requested a pin device, they would not have paid you such an amount, so it is permissible for you to accept it.

Allaah Knows best.

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