Sultan Choudhury, Chief Executive of Al Rayan Bank PLC has been named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of his services to the UK Market for Islamic Finance.

Al Rayan Bank has more than 75,000 customers throughout the UK – 28% of which the Bank estimates to be non-Muslim – and offers the largest Sharia compliant product range in the UK.

Mr Choudhury, OBE, said: “It is a great privilege to receive this honour from Her Majesty the Queen. "The last 13 years represent a tremendous, but sometimes difficult, journey to establish Islamic finance as an alternative to conventional finance in the UK.

"Islamic finance is based on ethical and faith based universal values which are good for society, embodying social justice, transparency and the equitable sharing of risk and reward.

"These values ensure that Islamic finance appeals, not only to Muslims, but to people of all faiths and none.

“On a personal level, these values resonate with me and as they were the ones that were ingrained in me as a young boy.

" I would like to dedicate this honour to my family, particularly my late mother who was so instrumental in forming my values; my wife for all her support and encouragement over the last 13 years; and of course, to my Al Rayan Bank colleagues, past and present, who have worked so hard to make Islamic banking a success in the UK.”

Mr Choudhury has played a role in a number of Government initiatives that have helped to establish the UK as a major global centre for Islamic finance, through the creation of a legal, regulatory and taxation environment in which Sharia compliant finance can compete on an equal footing with conventional.

Mr Choudhury has also raised the profile of Islamic banking in the UK through his continued engagement with the relevant local, national and international communities, including grass roots engagement with mosques, Muslim representatives, organisations and businesses across the UK.

Mr Choudhury is a Trustee of the National Zakat Foundation (NZF), an initiative which aims to utilise Zakat funds and voluntary donations collected in the UK for the benefit of local, deserving recipients across the country.

In addition he is also an Associate of Mosaic, the Prince’s Trust charity which inspires young people from deprived communities to realise their talents and potential.

He also actively encourages the Bank’s employees to develop their own personal and professional skills through volunteering for Mosaic and other local charitable programmes.

Mr Choudhury sits on the Board of Advisors for the RFI Foundation, the industry body for the responsible finance sector, which brings together various forms of responsible finance such as Sustainable, Responsible and Impact investing (SRI), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) in addition to Islamic Finance.

He also sits on the Islamic Finance Advisory Board of the University of East London (UEL).