Federal Bank to expand overseas footprints
Yusuffali MA, Shyam Srinivasan and other officials at the opening of Federal Bank's branch in Dubai. The bank already has a representative office at Abu Dhabi. - Supplied photo
Federal Bank, a leading Indian private sector banks, opened its second UAE representative office in Dubai as part of a strategy to expand footprints in the Gulf to serve its fast growing overseas clients estimated at over 800,000.
Yusufali MA, chairman and managing director of Lulu Group of Companies, inaugurated the new office located at 1305 Al Musalla Towers, Bur Dubai. The bank, which accounts for 13 per cent of the total of almost $70 billion remittances coming to India, already has a representative office at Abu Dhabi.
Shyam Srinivasan, managing director and CEO of Federal Bank, said the bank has received Indian regulatory approval to open offices in Dubai International Financial Centre and Bahrain. Also in the cards is the opening of representative offices in Qatar, Kuwait and Singapore, said Srinivasan, who has been given a third-term extension for another three years as head of India's largest regional bank by Reserve Bank of India just recently.
He said the UAE, where more than 500,000 of the banks' Gulf customers live, has been driving the bank's overseas business growth as its share of India's total overseas remittances jumping to 13 per cent from eight per cent valued at $8.5 billion in four years.
On the dramatic demonetisation of 1,000 and 500 denomination rupee notes by the Indian government, Srinivasan said its impact would be positive and far reaching in the long term although it is currently causing a lot of problems for the common man.
He said already 30 to 35 per cent of ATMs in the country had started to dispense the new Rs2,000 notes with Federal Bank emerging as one of the earliest in the country to dispense high denomination notes through its re-calibrated ATMs. The Federal Bank ATM at Thevara in Kochi successfully dispensed Rs2,000 denomination notes to customers by Tuesday. He said Indian banks are expecting the new Rs500 notes any time now and also the immediate availability of sufficient smaller denomination notes to solve the current cash crunch ordeal the public at large is facing across the nation.
The bold currency scrap move has helped to pump back Rs2 trillion into the banking system within a few days. As a result, the liquidity of Indian banks has risen significantly, paving way for imminent credit growth and the prospects of lower interest. "We are going to see availability of low cost fund," he said.
Srinivasan said Federal Bank has been in the forefront in extending customers convenience by leveraging technological capabilities.
"With our technology enabled innovations and customer centric activities, we continue our dominant position as that of a financial service provider. Through the bank's digital initiatives, we aim at influencing each customer's life digitally. As of now, the bank has 1,252 branches and 1,561 ATMs," said Srinivasan.
He said with its partnership with 74 exchange houses and six banks globally, Federal Bank dominates the remittance business and is an acknowledged favourite of NRIs. "Historically, Federal Bank has been an extended family of its NRI clientele, by acting as their local contact points in India for various errands. We have a predominant position in Kerala and visible presence in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra and we are in the process of expanding our presence in Gujarat and Punjab," he said at a Press briefing following the opening of the Bur Dubai office.
Present at the media briefing were K. I. Varghese and Mohanachandran KR, chief general managers; Deepak Govind, deputy general manager, and Jose Skaria, assistant general manager.
Srinivasan said the bank seeks to focus digital space, geographical expansion, and market share boost. "Since digital invasion is massive and real, we don't want to miss out on that as we are a very active on technology side."