The standoff between monetary authorities of India and Singapore seems to have eased with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) taking the lead in fulfilling its promise to sanction the agreed eight branches to the DBS Bank in India on Tuesday.
It is for the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for reciprocate by granting approval to State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI Bank, largest Indian banks in Public and private sectors respectively, the preferred bank status. ICIC Bank has confirmed there was nothing new on the issue.
DBS Bank announced in Singapore that it has been given the approval to set up eight new branches in India by the Reserve Bank of India across Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Moradabad, Nasik, Pune, Salem and Surat. This brings DBS Bank’s India presence to a total of 10 branches, including the existing two branches one each in Delhi and Mumbai.
Pranam Wahi, Chief Executive Officer, DBS Bank India said, “We see a great opportunity in India and look forward to opening these new branches in the coming months and be able to bring our full range of products and services to the markets.”
DBS Bank, which is one of the largest banks in Asia, offers in India a suite of wholesale banking products and services to its corporate and SME customers, including corporate lending, treasury services, transaction services and M&A advisory.
Though Indo-Singapore Economic Treaty (ISET) of June 2005 proposed to take the relationship beyond free trade into free business, the MAS has been refusing to give preferred banking status the leading Indian banks. The RBI had to use its powers by rejecting applications for Singaporean banks to bring resolution to the issue.
The process of give and take began when the RBI allowed Singaporean agencies Temasek Holdings and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) to hold up to 10 per cent individual stake each in ICICI Bank, as a one-off clearance last year.