Three Indian banks will be given QFB status in Singapore

MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday allowed Singapore’s DBS bank to open eight new branches in India after the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) came into being in 2005.

DBS is the first from the island-nation to get a regulatory nod to open new branches in Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Moradabad, Nashik, Pune, Salem and Surat, the bank said. DBS already has a branche in New Delhi and Mumbai.

Under the CECA, the two countries have agreed to open up the financial sector.

As per the CECA, three Singapore banks would be allowed to open 15 branches in India and three Indian banks would be given the Qualifying Full Banking Status (QFB) in Singapore.

The RBI has given the nod for the Singapore-based bank following a mutual agreement with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

With DBS getting the RBI permission, the MAS is expected to give the QFB status to India’s largest lender State Bank of India.

This will enable SBI to raise retail deposits in Singapore. As of now, SBI has only one branch in Singapore.

DBS is active in SME, consumer, corporate and transaction portfolios in India. It also operates in treasury and market segments.

“This is a significant milestone for DBS as we can now extend our footprint in India. This is a key market for DBS and we are delighted to be able to serve our customers in India through a larger and deeper banking network across 10 cities,” DBS Group Holdings’ Chairman Koh Boon Hwee said in the statement.

DBS, which is one of the largest financial services groups in Asia, has operations in 15 markets and over 13,000 employees in the region, the bank said.

“With these new licences in India, the DBS Group will be able to serve more customers through both the bank and its joint venture with the Murugappa Group, Cholamandalam DBS Finance,” DBS’s Managing Director and Head of South and Southeast Asia Rajan Raju said. — PTI