Lloyds Bank, a major chain in England and Wales, makes you pay a hefty fine if you draft more money than you have in your account.
But there are two ways to avoid paying the overdraft fee:
1) Don’t go into the red.
2) Be Muslim.
According to a new terms and conditions booklet sent out by the bank to customers, “Islamic Account” holders will have all overdraft fees waived so they don’t violate Sharia Law, which forbids the “acceptance of specific interest or fees for loans of money.”
The Islamic account was set up by the High Street bank to attract Muslim customers by allowing them to keep faithful to their religion.
A Lloyds spokesman said Islamic accounts were intended for customers who cannot receive or pay interest under sharia, but were available to anyone, regardless of their faith.
One customer, Anita Milton, a nurse of New Eltham, south London, said: “I can’t believe that they’re thinking of offering one account for Muslims and making everyone else pay for the same service. Do I have to change my religion to get the best deal?“
You don’t have to change your religion; you just have to lie about what that religion is if you’re a Lloyds customer. (The other major banks in the country — Barclays, Co-op Bank and RBS — do not offer special Islamic accounts.)
The downside is that you won’t make any interest from the money you already have in the bank… but if you’re someone who doesn’t have much money in your account, going Islamic sounds like a win-win situation.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)