HDFC Bank's Global Expansion

Seeking a bank license to expand a branch in Singapore, HDFC Bank makes a strategic move in Finance

HDFC Bank's Global Expansion

HDFC Bank Ltd, India's largest private sector lender, is set to inaugurate its inaugural branch in Singapore, showcasing its global ambitions after successfully concluding a major merger with Housing Development Finance Corp last year.

 

Having already submitted an application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a banking license, HDFC Bank is currently awaiting approval. The specific type of banking license sought by HDFC Bank remains unclear at this time. As it aims to expand its presence in the world's most populous country, HDFC Bank has been extending loans to retail customers.

 

With an approximate population of nearly 6 million, Singapore is home to a significant Indian diaspora. According to Indian government data, around 650,000 non-residents and individuals of Indian origin reside in the city-state.

 

As per its website, HDFC Bank is presently not licensed or regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The bank explicitly mentions that it solely offers advisory services related to home loans for acquiring properties in India.

 

However, the banking behemoth is now aiming to broaden its global footprint to attract the Indian diaspora for savings and term deposits and to cross-sell a wider range of products, including mortgages.

 

In Singapore, the types of banking licenses fall into categories such as full banks, qualifying full banks, and wholesale banks, each imposing different levels of restrictions on the activities of the lenders. Notably, the State Bank of India and ICICI Bank Ltd. possess qualifying full banking licenses, a category shared with eight other banks including Bank of China Ltd. and BNP Paribas SA. These licenses, exclusively available to foreign banks, permit them to establish additional branches and/or off-premise ATMs, as well as to engage in ATM sharing among themselves, as outlined on the Association of Banks in Singapore’s website.

 

In addition to Singapore, HDFC Bank maintains a presence in other markets such as London, Hong Kong, and Bahrain. As per an investor presentation, the Indian bank recorded a total customer base of 93 million at the conclusion of the December quarter, reflecting an increase from 91 million in the preceding three-month period.

                                                                        


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