Dubai: India’s largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank has been granted a full commercial branch (FCB) licence by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the second Indian bank after State Bank of India to offer full banking services in the kingdom.
ICICI Bank had launched its operations in Bahrain as an offshore banking unit (OBU) in October 2004. “We are happy that we got the FCB licence within three years of our operations in Bahrain,” said ICICI Bahrain country head Ajay Sharma.
Sharma said the bank, which operates from one location at the Manama Centre, would now open more branches in different areas of Bahrain. “We shall identify locations like Gudaibiya, Sitra, and Riffa, where there is a large concentration of Indian population,” he was quoted as saying in Gulf Daily News.
ICICI currently employs 85 people and the opening of more branches will create more jobs, he said, adding that the bank will recruit more Bahrainis. “They will either be trained locally or at our training centre in Khandala, near Mumbai. We may also consider sending employees for on-the-job training at some of our top branches in India.”
At present, the OBU branch offered its products to non-resident Indians (NRIs) only, including facilities for remittance, deposits, saving accounts and investment. “They can also remit money now not only to India but to other countries as well. Under the FCB licence, we are offering the entire products to all nationalities, including Bahrainis.” Another key service of the bank for NRIs is in the area of home loans.