Does Kerala’s Malappuram branch of SBI accept deposits under Sharia law? Know the truth 

Misleading Social

SBI Life offers a mutual fund scheme named Pure Fund that invests exclusively in accordance with Sharia law. It is available across the country, not only in Malappuram.

A poster displayed at the State Bank of India’s Kerala, Malappuram branch recently went viral on social media. The poster reads ‘Sharia fund accepted here’ in English. Many individuals on social media are criticizing the idea that Shariah law is only applicable in the Malappuram branch and accused SBI of establishing Sharia law in secular Kerala. The post has gone viral with comments about the need for such a fund and claiming that Malappuram is a Islamic stronghold and that could be the reason for starting the plan there, with an obvious communal angle to the matter.

Let’s check the facts.

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Fact Check-

We started our investigation by contacting the bank’s branch manager at the number listed on the poster. Then he explained us that “It is a fact that SBI does not have an investment in the name of Sharia Fund. The SBI Sharia Equity Fund, which was approved by SEBI in 2014, was later denied approval by the RBI and cancelled it.

He added, SBI Life offers mutual fund schemes that invest exclusively in accordance with Sharia law (markets prohibited by Islam). SBI Life Pure Fund is one such investment.  In Malappuram district especially where there are more Muslim users, such a poster was put up to attract them in such investment schemes and to communicate this to them. The problem was that the poster used words like Sharia-fund. It is true that it caused a misunderstanding.  This poster was changed as soon as this was circulated on social media. Clarification was sought from the highest level on the matter and it was provided. Actually we meant to say about Pure Fund”. In this case, the bank itself confirmed that such advertisement was against SBI policy and withdrew the poster. “SBI Life Pure Fund” which offers investments under Islamic law, is available across the country.

SBI life Pure Fund is a scheme that provides investment schemes in a manner permissible under Shariah law or Islamic faith. Pure Fund offers interest free investments except in liquor, tobacco, cinema, lottery, gambling, bank, hotel, leather and animal products companies. Details regarding this fund are available on SBI Life website.

The objective of this fund is to provide high equity exposure targeting higher returns in the long term. The Fund invests in Equities of sectors other than – 

  1. Banks, Financial institutions and non-banking financial companies, 
  2. Breweries, distilleries, alcohol based chemicals, cigarettes, tobacco, 
  3. Entertainment (Films, TV etc), Hotels, Gambling, Lotteries, Contests,
  4. Leather, Animal Produce, sugar and hatcheries

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SBI life’s Pure Fund scheme is in place to provide users with select investments that are permissible according to Islamic faith. To advertise this, a poster was displayed at the Malappuram branch accepting deposits under Sharia law and this caused a misunderstanding among people. 

But the propaganda that SBI is implementing Sharia law in Malappuram as spread in the social media is misleading. SBI Life Pure Fund, which offers investments under Islamic law, is available across the country.

Conclusion-

Fact Crescendo found the claim made along with the post to be Misleading. The manager of the bank clarified to us that SBI does not have an investment in the name of Sharia Fund, but SBI Life offers a mutual fund scheme named Pure Fund that invests exclusively in accordance with Sharia law. It is available across the country, not only in Malappuram. The problem was that the poster included terms such as Sharia fund and that led to misunderstanding.

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Title:Does Kerala’s Malappuram branch of SBI accept deposits under Sharia law? Know the truth 

Written By: Usha Manoj 

Result: Misleading

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