London: Defying the current turmoil in the banking sector in the West, public sector Indian lender Punjab National Bank plans to expand its operation in the UK, beside eyeing a $5 million profit from the country’s operations.
“This year we will be making a profit of $4-5 million from our UK operations,” PNB chairman and managing director K.C. Chakrabarty said.
The bank so far has three branches in the UK and it will open one in Birmingham in February. Over the next financial year, there are plans to open additional branches in Manchester, Wolverhampton and London, he said.
Chakrabarty said, “Those who have cash and strength, this is the time to expand and we are capitalising on the current economic downturn.”
The Punjab National Bank International is a subsidiary of the Punjab National Bank. With 4,600 branches in India and 38 million customers, PNB is expected to make a profit of $500 million this year, he said.
Chakrabarty launched the bank’s Debit Card in UK on Tuesday. The bank will not charge for withdrawals in the UK as well as all Maestro-enabled ATMs in India. In addition to the Debit Card service, the bank has commenced internet banking services to retail and corporate customers.
The Bank will also open a representative office in Oslo in Norway on Friday.
“At present, we have a joint venture bank in Nepal and we plan to start a joint venture bank in Bhutan by 14 April this year,” he said.
The bank plans to launch online remittances shortly.