DBS gets India's go-ahead to set up local subsidiary

DBS Bank got a go-ahead signal from the Reserve Bank of India to convert its India operations into a wholly-owned subsidiary.

DBS Group
DBS Group. Reuters

Singapore's largest banking firm DBS Group announced that it has received the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to provide and set up local banking services in the country through a wholly-owned subsidiary.

In a report from The Business Times, the banking group said it will utilise its strengths, resources, and experience in India to develop a scalable business through a multi-channel approach which includes a combination of physical and digital formats.

Also Read: DBS to invest S$20 mln in Singapore's digital push

The bank noted that it will be able to bring its products and services to the country's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large firms.

It has applied for a license to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2014, making it the first foreign lender to seek RBI approval.

After the approval, DBS is the second bank after the State Bank of Mauritius to receive the green lights.

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta noted that bank foresees to move to a subsidiary structure from the current branch structure in the next six to nine months.

"We have received an in-principle approval from RBI to start working as a wholly-owned subsidiary," he said.

He added that more capital will be injected into the bank's Indian business.

Meanwhile, DBS India CEO Surojit Shome said the nod from the RBI allows for an accelerated growth plans which can significantly expand its operations and build a wider footprint.

"As a WOS, DBS India will be able to better serve its customers, particularly SMEs, in support of the government's Make-in-India initiative," he stated.

The announcement came with the unveiling of DBS' new India headquarters at Express Towers in Nariman Point in Mumbai.

The new headquarters span 100,000 square feet over five floors in Express Towers, with activity-based workspaces and social areas to spur interaction amongst employees. The office gives off the startup culture which DBS is pushing to embed in its operations.