‘Halal’ Financing for Muslim Entrepreneurs Gains Currency
Bank of Whittier, a community bank in Los Angeles, offers Shariah-compliant products and is one of few institutions specialized in Islamic finance in the United States. The bank, whose staffers speak more than a dozen languages, markets itself to observant Muslim entrepreneurs. Deals are structured so that the bank buys into the venture with the entrepreneur, who runs the company and buys the bank out, with payments structured so that the bank is compensated for its investment. Profits and losses are shared; the overall cost tracks with a traditional loan repayment at a standard interest rate.