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For the first time in the UK, the Money Matters report reveals the views from British Muslims on the banking and financial industry

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m.economy research from mud orange reveals never before found insights on British Muslims’ financial behaviours.

Mud orange, the award-winning creative agency helping brands to connect with diverse audiences, today launches findings from its m.economy research, which looks into British Muslims’ attitudes and behaviours towards banking, pension schemes, car finance, international money transfer, and will writing. This is the first ever report to be published providing a holistic view of British Muslims’ views on the financial landscape and how their religious beliefs impact their decisions when it comes to managing finances.

With four million Muslims living in Britain today, there is still little known by financial sectors of the dynamic financial circumstances of British Muslims. According to the survey, 85% of British Muslims would be more loyal to a mainstream brand if their financial needs and lifestyle choices are catered to directly.

Banks and fintech companies have the opportunity to engage British Muslims by better aligning with their financial and lifestyle needs

British Muslims are very conscious of how they manage their finances, due to the Islamic financial framework which defines how money should be saved, borrowed and invested; favouring profit-sharing over interest. The ethical and interest-free facets have huge implications across money matters for British Muslims. Our research found that over half of British Muslims don’t want to receive interest on their bank savings, which becomes more important for those older and the more affluent.

Pure play Islamic banks, such as Al Rayan bank, have been in the UK for over 15 years, but according to our research, one third of British Muslims feel these banks are old fashioned, whilst two thirds cannot recall an Islamic bank when asked. 59% of British Muslims said they felt Shariah-compliant bank accounts focused too much on religious ruling rather than their actual banking needs, in addition 55% perceive pure play Islamic banks to be less reliable.

According to the research, 83% of British Muslims under 45 say they would prefer to have an Islamic Bank account than a mainstream bank account. If not available, over half would consider an ethical bank (such as Triodos Bank) that could offer services better aligned with their values. There is a clear opportunity for financial institutions to brand and market themselves with better consumer insight to build a compelling offering that resonates with modern British Muslims.

Car financing predominantly follows conventional interest payments, which limits accessibility for British Muslims

A huge obstacle for British Muslims to buy a new car is the one-dimensional financing option provided by dealerships which isn’t compatible with their religious needs.

According to our research:

  • 72% of British Muslims say they would only consider buying a new car if the dealership offers interest-free finance.
  • 52% of British Muslims above the age of 25 actively look online for interest-free finance deals from car dealerships.
    • This increases to two thirds of men above the age of 35, and many are willing to spend more to find a suitable financing option.

These financial obstacles have forced British Muslims into the second-hand market and more recently has driven demand in car-sharing and long-term hire, especially for those living in cities.

The need and access to will writing for British Muslims 

The average Brit writes their will when they’re 47, however the m.economy research found the average British Muslim considers writing theirs before they’re 40, with 86% saying their will needs to be written according to Islamic law.

However, from our research we found that 40% of British Muslims said they don’t know how to set a will up whilst 43% say they find it confusing, complicated or too expensive.

Money transfer services are yet to engage modern British Muslims

From research conducted by Aziz Foundation, 93% of British Muslims say that the UK is their home, which includes the 40% who are born overseas, however the majority of money transfer services branding is focused around “sending money back home”.  77% of British Muslims say someone in their family uses money transfer services, with the two main reasons being; to sustain family members living abroad and to pay the religiously mandated charity donation, Zakat. According to the findings 85% of Black Muslim families and 77% of South Asian Muslim families also frequently use international money transfer services for remittance or charity giving during key religious moments, such as Ramadan.

Money transfer services need to reconsider how they market themselves to British Muslims and consider factors such as the speed, security and ease of withdrawal which are vital to the recipients who have strong influence in the decision process.

Arif Miah, creative director and founder of mud orange said: “The research clearly shows that there is a huge opportunity for the financial industry to holistically align better with British Muslims’ needs and requirements – from savings, car financing to transferring money abroad. The lack of effective brand activity creates a huge window for the financial industry to start building an authentic relationship through relevant, contemporary and data-backed insights, so they can lead the way in offering effective solutions that meet the religious and lifestyle needs of British Muslims today”.

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