EQRAZ, a financial services start-up in Canada, has introduced a Shariah-compliant mortgage business to tap the growing Muslim customer base in the country, according to a press release posted on Zawya.

The entire operation of Toronto-based EQRAZ is Shariah-certified in accordance with AAOIFI norms by the Bahrain-based Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB).

SRB will also supervise and audit the company’s offerings and operations in accordance with Shariah and AAOIFI standards.

Additionally, SRB will monitor and assess the business’s operations and products to ensure they adhere to Shariah and AAOIFI standards.

All EQRAZ mortgages will be handled by CMLS Financial, a third-party mortgage administrator in Canada with C$30bn ($22.3bn) in assets under administration.

EQRAZ founder & CEO Syed Zuhair Naqvi said: “It has taken us four long years to overcome the numerous challenges facing halal mortgage offerings in Canada which prevented at-scale financing from being available. The biggest challenge we faced was developing a halal product that does not conflict with Canadian tax, disclosure and other regulations, and meets with Canadian capital-market requirements.

“Our product is a five-year renewable product which has been tested against all applicable Canadian banking, mortgage and other regulations by both EQRAZ counsel as well as the Schedule 1 bank that is providing halal mortgage funding.”

In addition to partnering with leading brokers in the country, EQRAZ has linked with the Filogix and Velocity platforms from Finastra and Newton, respectively.

The integration is said to enable around 90% of Canadian mortgage brokers to apply for an EQRAZ halal mortgage on behalf of their clients.