This paper explores the manner in which a range of issues relating to emotional propensities – including ethics, trust, fear and institutional exploitation of these – shape perceptions about the Islamic banking industry in the UK. Much of the ethos and practice of Shariah that originally defined such activities have been lost amidst the hegemony of global capital(ism) and a lack of innovation, transparency and social concern have been cited as potential sources of alienation for consumers otherwise likely to be interested in Islamic financial services. However, understanding regarding the impact of emotion in this context is very limited, despite potentially representing motivations for a broad range of financial decision-making. A critical accounting framework is used here to interpret evidence from a series of 32 interviews conducted with UK-based Muslims. The analysis unmasks the hidden interests of Islamic banks and suggests that enhanced stakeholder participation might be transformational in terms of meeting societal needs provided that the complex, but powerful, impact of emotional propensities is recognised.