Sultan Choudhury, the Bank’s CEO (right) and Maisam Faisal, outside the new office in Stratford Place
Al Rayan Bank, the UK’s largest Islamic bank by assets and one of the fastest growing banks in the country, has opened a new office in Stratford Place W1, a prime location in London’s West-End.
The new office is needed to support the rapid growth of the bank’s commercial property portfolio and the expanding commercial property finance team, which now consists of 11 frontline staff; after last month’s recruitment of two experienced commercial property experts who were formally with Nationwide Building Society.
Al Rayan Bank’s real estate asset book now exceeds £1.2bn, by far the largest property book of any UK Islamic bank, and commercial property finance has become an increasingly important growth area for the bank.
Despite market nervousness in 2016, commercial property financing was the fastest growing element of Al Rayan Bank’s real estate asset book, increasing by 44% to £396.5m. Increasing its footprint in all sectors of the commercial property finance market is a strategic priority for the bank over the coming years.
Projects financed by the bank are varied and cover the whole UK, ranging from large residential investment private rental sector (PRS) schemes, to out of town retail parks, mixed used industrial warehouses, residential in investment schemes for smaller investors, student property as well as prime offices.
In addition, the bank has completed a number of syndication deals, enabling it to fund large scale projects such as the former Olympic village site in East London. The bank’s client base is a mixture of corporate, family office and private investors from the UK and internationally, predominantly from Qatar and the wider GCC region.
Maisam Faisal, head of commercial property finance, Al Rayan Bank, said: “Customers chose commercial property finance from Al Rayan Bank for many reasons.
"For some, it is the fact that we are an Islamic bank and only offer Sharia compliant financing; for others it is our commercial approach and our highly experienced staff who can help structure transactions to suit clients’ requirements."
Al Rayan Bank’s new commercial office can be found at 15 Stratford Place, London W1C 1BE.