Introduction to Sterling Alternative Banking

In Sterling Bank we offer a wide variety of Alternative finance products borne out of detailed customer value architecture. Our primary interest is our customers, which is why we are a one-customer bank. When our customers come to us with their specific financial needs, we are quick to offer them what they want. It is in this light that we are offering products that align with the beliefs of our customers.

We have met up with global best practice in this regard by having Advisory Committee of Experts (ACE) who approved all our products and processes while ensuring they are fully compliant with the rules of Islamic commercial jurisprudence. Our Advisory Committee of Experts (ACE) includes Sheikh Abdulkader Thomas (US/Kuwait); Sheikh Abubakar Musa (Minna); and Imam Abdur-Raheem Ahmad Sayi (Lagos).

We have used the Qard (Interest-Free Loan) contract for our Current Account, Savings Account and Kia-Kia Account. Mudaraba (partnership where there is the owner of fund and a manager of fund) is used for Hajj Savings Account, Trust Account and the Profit-Share Investment Account. We have adopted a structure based on Wakala (representation/agency) and Mudarabah for our Termed Deposit Account.

We also have a variation of Istisna (Build-to-Order) contracts for our Project Finance transactions; while we prefer to use Ijarah (lease) for Asset Financing. Murabaha (purchase and resale at a mark-up) is what we are using for our Trade Finance products. Very interestingly, we have Small Business product – it is unique because we are using several contracts that fit our customers’ need, such as Murabaha, Ijarah, Wakala, Istisna, Qard-Hassan, and Salam (Deferred Delivery). Our Home Finance product is based on three modes – diminishing musharakah (diminishing partnership), ijarah and murabaha.

We will be rolling out more structured products as our customers’ demand increase - that is why we are the one-customer bank.