FAQ

1.How can I become a member of Islamic Co-operative Finance Australia Limited (ICFAL)?

Please download the membership application form from our resource centre. Complete the form and attach  documents such as copies of drivers license, passport (photo page only).

These documents can be email, mailed or delivered directly to the ICFAL office.

For payment of entry fee and purchasing of shares, refer to FAQ item 6 as shown below..

Do you require more information?  Download here

2. What types of funds are available to you at ICFAL?

  1.  Hajj Fund: This fund is designed for its joining members to purchase share units, which will ultimately enable them to perform pilgrimage to the Holy city of Makkah.
  2.  Children’s Education Fund: This fund is designed for the benefit of children willing to pursue higher education.
  3.  Qard-e-Hasan fund: Qard-e-Hasan is a type of benevolent fund created to assist persons of need. This fund offers the opportunity to fulfil religious obligations of co-operative membership via charitable donations to the fund.

Our Hajj and Children’s funds normally pay a slightly higher dividend compared to a general membership fund to encourage and assist our members perform the essential act of hajj and the pursuit of

education for our children.

 

3. Can I become a member if I live outside Australia?

  • Unfortunately not. You need to be a resident of Australia and have a residential address in the respective state/s that we offer membership.

4. In which states are memberships offered by ICFAL?

  • ICFAL is currently registered to operate within NSW, ACT, SA and Victoria.
  • You need to be a resident of Australia and have a residential address in the respective state/s as mentioned when applying for membership.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of enquiries from interstate customers where memberships are not available at present,  we aim to register our co-operative in all other states and territories in Australia in due course. Please stay tuned for updated information.

5.Can I get personal loans or credit cards?

  • The co-operative is not a banking institution and as such does not provide any personal loans or issue any credit cards other than what has been mentioned under the Qard-e-Hasan fund, shown above. This loan is interest free as approved under Shariah.

6.How can I redeem my shares when needed?

  • Download a share redemption form from our resource centre. Complete the form with all the required information and send it to us. Please note that the Co-operative does not carry out traditional banking business activities, therefore we are unable to complete deposit and withdrawal transactions upon call.
  • However, you are entitled to redeem shares from your account at call if it is less than $1000. Redemption of a greater amount requires at least a one-month notice, as your shares are already invested and may require time to return. Sometimes, due to hardship and difficulties of member to cover emergency situations, faster redemption may be allowed, provided funds are available.

7. How do I become an ICFAL General Member?

  • To become an active member, you must be 18 years or over and an Australian resident. An active member pays $100 as a one off membership fee and purchases at least 5 shares ($100 per share per year).
  • Once you become an active member you can exercise your voting rights at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
  • The joining member is recommended to contribute at least 2 hours a month for the overall promotional activity of the Co-operative on a voluntary basis.

8. I want to open a membership under the Children’s Education Fund?

  • Children under 18 years of age may join the Co-operative under the Children’s Education Fund by paying a minimum of 10% of the normal membership fee.
  • Such membership must be managed by a legal guardian and is only for the purpose of purchasing shares of the Fund for higher education purposes. A member under this category does not have any voting rights at the AGM.

9. I want to invest my SMSF into ICFAL?

  • A self managed super fund may also join as an active member of the Co-operative by nominating a long term investment provision. This provision may attract a better return than the dividend earned by the regular active membership pooled fund as decided at the AGM or at the discretion of the board of directors of ICFAL.
  • Conditions of additional dividend for the long term provision requires keeping the investment at least for six months, limited to two redemptions per financial year, each not exceeding 50% of the member’s equity. Violating this policy may entitle the respective member to receive the same dividend as that received under general membership.
  • Please consult a professional tax agent or accountant to set up your own super fund. The Co-operative is not a fund manager but simply allows this membership as a viable Halal investment opportunity.

10. Are my monies/shares secure with ICFAL?

  • ICFAL as a registered co-operative under the Co-operatives Act 1992.
  • All financial matters and other Co-operative activities are being audited periodically including an annual audit conducted by an independent professional and authorised auditor. In fact, our annual financial statements have been independently audited since our founding in 1998.
  • Most of the ICFAL funds are invested in real-estate properties therefore carrying a highly secure portfolio in the market. ICFAL dividend history shows that it has consistently maintained a positive return. Members should however, be aware that like any other investment, past history cannot guarantee future returns.
  • We require our members to have a minimum of 20% of the property price. Although we require this to avoid mortgage insurance to make our contracts even more shariah compliant, this also conveys to us the financial strength and ability of the member receiving finance.
  • We give priority to first home buyers rather than investment properties.
  • Our cash is deposited into a interest free cheque account with a major bank.
  • Members are free to redeem their shares anytime after completing a share redemption form. Though, our co-operative rules state that if a withdrawal is over $1,000 we request a 30 day notice period.
  • Members are able to check their financial record at any time by contacting our offices.

11. How about the confidentiality?

  • As a part of our commitment as well as trust (Amanah), the ICFAL team is dedicated to keeping all financial records of an individual member confidential. Utmost care and diligence are maintained at all times.

12.Does the Co-operative (ICFAL) lodge a tax return and what is my tax obligation as a member?

  • No, we are not required to lodge a tax return. However, the dividend earned by individual members must be declared as part of their income at lodgement of  their tax return.
  • The dividend is declared during the AGM and the profit or loss is normally mailed with the December quarterly statement. Hence, the amount earned by a member should be declared in the following financial years tax return.

13.What factors determine if I am eligible to receive property funding?

  • Must be an active member of ICFAL for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Financial situation of the member in servicing the loan.
  • Member/s must be able to prove they have a minimum of 20% of their share of the property prior to any purchase.
  • Dividends will not be paid on monies held during the property settlement period.

ICFAL operates on internally generated funds. This may impact the length of when funding is made available for each individual member.

14.How much does ICFAL pay in dividends and how is it calculated?

Kindly note, dividends are presented to members at our annual AGM normally held in the months of September and October after the financial year end.  After agreement from our members, the dividends are automatically placed in the members accounts.

As a guide, for the previous 3 years, ICFAL has paid $4 (2012), $4.3 (2013) and $4.3 (2014) per share. Although past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Dividend is calculated on a pro-rata basis of the number of days your shares are held with ICFAL.

For example, in a FY Jul 2009-Jun 2010 dividend declared in the AGM is $5.0 per share of $100 value, so for a member purchased $1000 share on 1st Jan of that year will get a dividend of ($5.0*$1000*181)/($100*365) =$24.79.

15. I want to purchase more shares of ICFAL for my account. How can I do it?

ICFAL Share purchase can be done in the following forms:

  • Use your membership book and pay at any Commonwealth bank branch. The booklet is custom printed with your membership number as agent number and ICFAL bank account number.
  • When the booklet is fully utilised, you can order a replacement  from any Commonwealth Bank branch by showing the last page of the booklet or contacting ICFAL for assistance.

If do not have a booklet, you can use internet banking or visit a branch. Please use the following information during banking transactions:

Account Name: Islamic Co-op Finance Aust Ltd
Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia
BSB: 062 191
Account: 10179618

BIC/SWIFT Code: CTBAAU2S

  • You must identify yourself in the transaction description by typing (or providing the teller) your membership number 920 as the agent number.
  • If you are applying for new membership and do not have a membership number, in the interim use  member’s name as the agent number.

You can also send us a crossed cheque, postal money order and bank cheque payable to Islamic Co-operative Finance Australia Limited by mail.

16.Where do you invest your money?

The majority of our investments are held in real estate.

17.Do you receive interest on your cash deposits with the bank?

No, we don’t receive any interest.

18.Why do you charge more than the banks?

The ICFAL model works differently to a conventional bank. Our diminishing partnership (Mushaarakah Mutanaqisa) agreement involves ICFAL being a partner in the property purchase. This means ICFAL will share with our member the gains and the risk of the property value increasing and decreasing. The conventional bank does not provide for this, rather basing their returns purely on the amount of money lent to their customers.

In addition, our repayments are linked to property and rental prices whereas a conventional bank provides funds based on the prevailing interest rate with no relation to property value nor rental prices.

19.How do I apply for finance?

Obtaining finance from ICFAL is not a quick process like other financial institutions. We are a co-operative organization whose main objective is to establish an interest free economic and financial system according to the Islamic Shariah that is based on profit and loss sharing through the active participation of members.

To become an active member, a non-refundable application fee of $100 is payable and then the member is required to purchase a minimum of $500 worth of shares within the cooperative. This $500 remains your money but it is used by us as an investment to fund other member property purchases. We do not borrow fund from any 3rd party.

We have four funds: General Membership Fund, Hajj Fund, Superannuation Fund and Children Education Fund through which we pull money from market and invest to help out members for interest fee finance.

Once you become active member,  you will be eligible to apply for finance. During the application with valid paperwork you need to deposit 10% of the expected property valued you would like to purchase. When the application form is complete and the relevant documentation is provided, we will put in the waiting queue for finance. Historically, the waiting is normally six months. Once you progress in to queue, we will send you another letter requesting you to deposit another 10%. Your deposit will be a minimum of 20% of the expected purchase price. The remainder may come from ICFAL which offers a maximum of $500,000. So, from the date of your membership (with membership fee $100 non-refundable + $500 share purchase to become active member) to the day of getting finance you will be looking for a period of  approximately 12 months.

We cannot provide you with a fixed rate. The monthly figure depends on the property value and its growth rate, property rent and its growth rate, and the number of years members sing the contract for. The maximum years you can extend for finance for is 30 years subject to your age is below 40 at the time to application.

 

 

ICFAL