Account was deactivated based on word ‘club’, says owner
Meezan Bank Limited has deactivated the account of an online community for mothers, The Mummy Club, stating it was not Shariah compliant.
“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry… @MeezanBankLtd opened a business account for me, and then days later decides to cancel it because we are The Mummy ‘Club’ and that’s not Shariah,” the club’s owner Manahyl Khan Shafi tweeted, adding, “WHAT KIND OF A CLUB COULD WE POSSIBLY BE?”
Do they have a new Shariah compliance head? Just yesterday they refused payment to a model because it wasn't Shariah compliant.— Butt but not patwari (@eleuthromaniac7) February 18, 2021
Oh & my mom's card got blocked, so called their helpline he said let me talk to the accnt holder. Refused to unblock saying my mom didn't sound 67 yrs🤦♀️ https://t.co/QilQW5us22
Stylist and influencer Manahyl Khan Shafi started The Mummy Club in 2018 to create a non-judgmental, open and inclusive community for mothers and women who support mothers. Today it has 9,000 members and is also an offline community.
Speaking to SAMAA Money, Shafi said the bank account was active and running, the money was deposited, the ATM card, and cheque book were also issued and she had even informed her vendors, also members of TMC community, to deposit payments in that account–only to find it was closed.
They decide to cancel our account based on the word “club”, she said. “They didn’t give me anything in writing that states why our club is not Shariah-compliant.”
Shafi told SAMAA Money she had opened a business account for the Store TMC, which is owned by The Mummy Club and sells clothing and shoes for babies, children and women. The bank had opened the account in the name of the Store TMC, but later required the owner to write the name out in full because abbreviations such as TMC were not acceptable. But when she gave the full name, with the word ‘club’ in it, the bank had a problem.
The bank’s communications head Sohail Khan told SAMAA Money, however, that they did not close the account, nor mention Shariah compliance in its correspondence with the customer. “Since they are a club, it needs to be backed by some kind of documentation,” he said. “It’s not a Shariah compliance issue.” He referred to the State Bank of Pakistan’s Know Your Customer requirements with which all commercial banks have to comply. These requirements are for background checks, verification of a customer’s business.
Khan added that the account is active and operational and they are looking into the customer’s complaint. It would update SAMAA Money after checking with the branch if there had been some miscommunication.
Pakistan’s largest Islamic bank, MBL, made headlines in July 2019 after it refused payments for Netflix customers in Pakistan in July 2019, stating the online subscription fee for movies and videos fall in the category of a product or service that is not in line with guidelines of Shariah compliance.