An overdraft? That'll be £200 at Lloyds TSB (but only £15 if you're a Muslim) is designed solely to 'prove' that them Muslims are being treated better than you. In your country. By a company you partly own.
The messageboard idiots have reacted in an entirely predictable way, many threatening, Private Eye-style, to close their accounts because of this.
There is one problem with all their complaints, which the Mail admits half way through the story:
The Islamic account is available to all customers at Lloyds TSB.
Oh. As usual the spokesman from Lloyds TSB is relegated to near the end of the article. They say:
'All of our Islamic accounts comply with Islamic law and are available to anyone regardless of background or faith.
'These accounts are structured differently to our traditional accounts and are designed to help prevent a customer slipping into the red. A comparison with the overdraft charging structure on other accounts is meaningless.'
Available to anyone, you say? That's weird, because the way the Mail presented the story it was as if them Muslims were getting a special deal that wasn't available to anyone else.
And the spokesman is also correct about charge comparisons being meaningless. The Islamic accounts do not receive interest payments (in accordance with Shariah law) so surely it is only fair that the money saved from that is passed on in other ways? They also do not have an overdraft facility.
But there is another problem with the Mail story, probably the crucial one. The Islamic account can not have a planned overdraft facility, because it is not in line with Shariah Law. If they go overdrawn, it is called an unplanned overdraft, and the bank says:
we will not usually agree to provide an Unplanned Overdraft either.
But if they do, there is no difference: the unplanned overdraft fee for all Lloyds TSB accounts is £15 per month.
In any case, the Mail has deliberately whacked up the overdraft figures to £200 which only applies if someone goes over £100 overdrawn, at which point they will be charged £20 per day for maximum of ten days. But there is a sliding scale of fees, depending on how overdrawn the account is and for how long. They have just picked the biggest number to make it sound a lot worse than it actually is.
So the Islamic accounts don't pay interest and don't often provide an overdraft (the business account appears to specifically rule out any overdraft facility), two things which most other account holders would expect, if not demand. And yet somehow, them Muslims are being portrayed as getting something 'special'.
Which also happens to be available to everyone.
Who would have thought the Mail would take two things which can't really be compared and compre them , in order to make it look like Britain isn't Britain any more?