By Paul S. Mills, John R. Presley (auth.)

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Through excessive perquisites or extra leisure) or by resorting to accounting subterfuges. Hence, a non-interest bank would have to engage in costly monitoring to ascertain whether declared profit was a true reflection of reality, and yet still be unsure of borrower competence and motivation. The preliminary verdict of corporate finance theory upon non-interest banking is, therefore, dismissive. g. Goodhart, 1987, p. 86). A PLS bank's susceptibility to moral hazard and adverse selection would probably make it uncompetitive with conventional rivals.

It offered deposit and investment accounts and acquired assets through interest-free consumption loans, PLS partnerships and equity investments. The bank enjoyed rapid expansion and a low default ration due to the moral and social pressure on local borrowers to repay. Its very success proved to be 49 50 Islamic Finance: Theory and Practice the bank's downfall, however, because of the ensuing hostility of other local banks and the lack of personnel to fill new branches. The Mit Ghamr was nationalised in 1967 and converted to conventional operations, losing much of its customer loyalty and deposit base in the process.

Commercial investment was legally financed through partnership arrangements, with beneficial consequences for Arab prosperity (Udovitch, 1970). Interest-based lending was usually confined to non-Muslim minorities, particularly the Jews. But the interest prohibition became increasingly inconvenient, and was circumvented more and more. Lenders began to use forms of contract within the letter of the law but which, in effect, yielded a risk-free return. Rulers came to see Shari'ah as applicable to individual conscience but not to social legislation, whilst accommodating theologians questioned the contemporary relevance of the Qu'ranic prohibition, particularly with regard to commercial loans (Rodinson, 1978, p.

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