Indian banks appeal for UAE licences to open branches

Officials from India's largest banks in talks with UAE officials to open branches.
Indian banks appeal for UAE licences to open branches
By Elsa Baxter
Wed 19 Aug 2009 09:23 AM

The UAE Central Bank is under pressure from Indian expatriates to further open the sector to foreign banks, it has been reported.

Officials from the State Bank of India (SBI) are in active talks with UAE banking officials to open branches in the UAE to serve the Indian population, Emirates Business reported.

Indian expats make up about 33 percent of the UAE population, yet there is only one Indian bank with a licence to operate in the emirates, the paper said.

Venu Rajamony, consul general of India, told the paper: "We would like to enlarge the presence of Indian banks here. SBI is an ideal candidate because it is the largest bank in India."

Bank of Baroda, the only Indian bank with a full UAE banking licence, had some branches in the Emirates, but these have since been closed, the report said.

"We would like to re-open those branches. In addition, there are many other Indian banks, which we would like to see entering the UAE," said Rajamony.

"We believe we can provide worldwide services to the people of the UAE and residents if we are permitted to have full-fledged banking operations here."

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