HDFC Bank in talks to sign more partners

DUBAI HDFC Bank, a leading Indian private sector bank, which opened a representative office in Dubai recently, said that it will sign up Arab National Bank as its second partner in Saudi Arabia shortly.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 22 Feb 2003, 3:41 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 8:24 PM

Amresh Acharya, vice-president of NRI services of HDFC bank, who was in Dubai yesterday, said that the bank is looking to have agreements with a number of partners to enhance its market share in the NRI business.

In Saudi Arabia, HDFC Bank also has a partner in Al Rajhii Banking and Investment Group.

Acharya said that in the UAE also the bank is looking at signing up more partners and is now in talks with eight or nine exchange houses. There are also plans of entering into a strategic agreement with a UAE bank in the same line as the tie-up between ICICI Bank and meBank, although things are at a very preliminary stage, he added.

He also pointed out that the NRI business of the bank in the UAE has got a tremendous boost with the opening of the rep office and one of the bank's products called Indialink, which enables physical repatriation of money to Indian accounts of the bank in 24 hours, has been lapped up by Indian customers. Only in January, the bank recorded NRI remittances to the tune of Rs100 million.

Acharya said that since launching the rep office, the bank has opened more than 1,000 new accounts in the UAE. He also said that HDFC has emerged as one of the very serious players in the NRI business since the product was launched in August 2000.

"Today HDFC Bank has NRI deposits of over Rs2 billion, which itself is an indication of the bank's reach into the NRI market," he pointed out.

The bank is now offering the NRIs a special offer, which is for a limited period and ends on March 31. And as per the offering, if an NRI opens a savings account with the bank, he would not need to have the minimum average balance of Rs10,000 till March 31. He will also get a free international debit card delivered free by courier. There will be also no processing fees on overdrafts against fixed deposits, while he would be eligible for discounts on fees and charges on TT/DD and TCs among host of other freebees.

Acharya said that HDFC Bank, which is one of the few Indian banks with non-performing assets around the 0.5 per cent, has over 700 ATMs in the country and a branch network of 220 branches in 120 cities. The bank also has a balance sheet at around Rs200 billion. He said that the rep office in Dubai helps NRIs, apart from opening deposit accounts, to invest in various mutual funds and the Reserve Bank of India bonds among others. Insurance products will be also launched once they are available for the Indian market, he added.

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