Mumbai: Eight Indian banks have presence in Singapore. They are Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, Uco Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd. Except for Uco Bank, which has two branches in the country; all other Indian banks have a single-branch presence.
To operate in Singapore, a bank needs a minimum cash balance of 3% of its liability base and 18% of its liabilities should be kept in liquid assets. Out of this, at least 10% is to be invested in Singapore government securities – bonds or treasury bills.
Mint brings to you a brief profile of the Indian banks operating in Singapore:
State Bank of India: India’s largest lender got the qualifying full bank status on 25 March from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). SBI will be the seventh QFB in the island nation. Since 1977, SBI has been offering trade finance, corporate loans, deposits and remittance services among others.
ICICI Bank: India’s largest private sector lender got its offshore banking licence from MAS in August 2003. It is an offshore bank and has applied for a QFB status. It focuses on corporate, institutional and individual banking activities. The key business areas of the branch include foreign currency loans and trade finance. It is also the hub for loan syndication business of the bank. “The Singapore branch is amongst one of the key branches in ICICI Bank’s international banking footprint and contributes substantially to the overall international banking profitability of the bank,” ICICI Bank said. ICICI Bank’s Singapore branch is allowed to operate Asian Currency Unit (ACU); it can carry out banking activities in non-Singapore dollars.
Bank of India: Bank of India enjoys a full bank status in Singapore. Full banks offer the whole range of banking activities. The branch was opened in June 1951 and has the licence to transact business in both domestic banking unit (DBU) -- Singapore dollar – as well as ACU. There is no ceiling for the size of business in DBU. It has received approval from the monetary authority of Singapore to increase its ACU business up to US $2 billion from earlier limit of $1.60 billion.
Uco Bank: Uco Bank too enjoys a full bank status. It started its Singapore operations in April 1951. So far the only Indian bank to have two branches in Singapore. The bank offers retail business services as deposits, remittances and provide for trade financing for both export and import. It offers foreign exchange services to corporations and facilitates external commercial borrowings.
Indian Overseas Bank: The first Indian bank to commence operations in Singapore, IOB had set shop in February 1941. It offers full range of banking services with specialization in retail banking services, remittance services, trade finance services and credit services.
Indian Bank: Yet another full bank, Indian Bank commenced operations in Singapore in July 1941. The bank offers a complete range of banking activities, including trade financing, retail banking, rupee remittances, currency dealing and loan syndication.
Bank of Baroda: Bank of Baroda enjoys the status of an offshore bank. It started operations in September 2006.
Axis Bank: Axis Bank too is an offshore bank. It had opened its Singapore branch in April 2006. By October 2007, it had a balance of over $1 billion. It is active in loan syndication and trading.