Muslim investors in Texas have filed to charter a new Houston-based credit union that would market to the Shia Muslim populations in Houston, Dallas and Austin.
Unlike most of its counterparts, the Jafari No-Interest Credit Union would not charge interest on loans or pay interest to its members on deposit accounts, but rather it would charge various fees, as charging interest goes against certain principals of the Shia Muslim faith.
“I don’t think this is a brand new concept in the U.S., but we don’t have any in our jurisdiction right now,” said Betsy Loar, assistant commissioner and general counsel for the Texas Credit Union Department.
The investors will soon have to submit a business plan to show that the credit union is viable — while credit unions do not have to prove they will be profitable, they at least must show they can break even, Loar added.
Jafari No-Interest Credit Union officials did not immediately respond for comment.
The credit union would not be the first in the Houston area to market its services primarily to Muslim populations. Pioneer Muslim Federal Credit Union in Sugar Land has serviced the area since 1981.
source: Houston Business Journal