The Singapore-headquartered DBS Bank has received an in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to convert its Indian branch into a wholly owned subsidiary, enabling the bank to freely expand across the country like other private banks, and it will also require the multinational lender to provide loans to farmers and small businesses.
DBS group CEO Piyush Gupta said, “India is seen as a bright spot on the global horizon for portfolio investors as well as FDI investors who showcase India as a country of immense possibilities. As an Asia-centric bank, we focus on regional opportunities and India, China and Indonesia are the three big opportunities and we continue to make investments in all three.”
He said that the bank, which had 1,200 employees in India and an additional 800 in a technology centre, expected the bank staff headcount to double in a few years.
Last year, DBS had launched a digital banking product Digibank, which has 15 lakh users — a fourth of who have opened a bank account. The bank will start selling loans and investment products to these customers towards the end of 2017.