Go Ahead for Islamic Bank

Kuveyt Tuerk reuters
The headquarters of Kuveyt Tuerk bank in Istanbul.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    About four million Muslims live in Germany, and some of those would welcome Islamic financing.

  • Facts


    • Kuveyt Türk Bank – known by its abbrevation, KT Bank – will open branches in Frankfurt, Berlin and Mannheim in July.
    • In Islamic financing, bank income comes from a surcharge on trade rather than from interest, which is forbidden by the Koran.
    • German banks such as Commerzbank or Deutsche Bank have no plans to offer Islamic financing for customers.
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Shortly after 11:30 a.m. last Thursday, Kemal Ozan finally held the letter he had worked to get for almost two and a half years.

Mr. Ozan is managing director of Kuveyt Türk Bank, or KT Bank. His letter was from Germany’s German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, a license to operate KT Bank in Germany – the first Islamic financial institution to get a full banking license in the euro zone.

“This is an historic moment,”  said Mr. Ozan, his voice shaking. Then it suddenly hit him: He had forgotten to call his bosses in Istanbul in his excitement. “Our supervisory board members don’t even know yet.”

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