Singapore: France-based lender Societe Generale SA (SocGen) said on Tuesday it plans to aggressively expand its private banking operations in India, doubling staff and boosting its network to serve the rich in Asia’s third-largest economy.
The bank plans to double the number of relationship managers in India in three years, from 80 now, Balakrishnan Kunnambath, head of SocGen private banking’s Indian unit, said.
It also intended to expand into 8 to 10 more Indian cities from existing offices in Mumbai and New Delhi and set up trust services to advise Indian clients on their inheritances.
The plan comes as SocGen tries to grab opportunities from India’s growing wealth market that will see accelerated growth from liberalization of its financial markets, he said.
“The market awareness is increasing, the wealth is increasing, number of millionaires is increasing and deregulation is happening at a much faster pace,” Kunnambath said in an interview in Singapore on Tuesday.
With 100,000 millionaires in 2006, India’s millionaires grew at a 21% rate that year, according to a Merrill Lynch-Capgemini report.
That has encouraged international banks to aggressively expand into India.
Morgan Stanley said in October it is unleashing a major drive to tap India’s domestic wealth this year, hiring 100 private bankers in a bid to manage $1 billion (Rs4,290 crore) in assets by 2010, as it competes against Merrill Lynch and Co. Inc. and Citigroup Inc.