SIB to launch special services for NRIs

SIB’s NRE deposits have grown consistently and touched Dh12.88 billion) as on March 31, 2022.

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Murali Ramakrishnan. — Supplied photo
Murali Ramakrishnan. — Supplied photo

Issac John

Published: Sun 3 Jul 2022, 6:48 PM

Last updated: Sun 3 Jul 2022, 8:42 PM

South Indian Bank Limited (SIB) will soon be launching special services for non-resident Indians in the Gulf, the Kerala-based bank’s CEO said in Dubai.

Murali Ramakrishnan, who is also the managing director of the private sector lender, said the bank would launch new customer-centric accounts and expand its bouquet of services by introducing wealth management services in association with a wealth management company.

“We are currently providing our NRI customers with facilities to obtain insurance, home and vehicle loans, and to invest in mutual funds and pension plans. “With the additional services, we are confident that we will be providing a complete solution for the NRIs.”

SIB’s representative office has been functioning in Bur Dubai Bank Street since 2018. NRI customers can approach this office for all information about NRE banking services and investment opportunities in India, said Ramakrishnan, who was on a visit to the Gulf.

One of SIB’s new products is the FCNR (foreign currency non-resident) Platinum Deposit Scheme, which is a forex forward-booking product available in various currencies. The scheme provides a better yield than NRE deposits. The five-year FCNR Platinum in Japanese yen provides a yield of 7.38 per cent (presently) compared to NRE deposits, which provide an annualised yield of 6.67 per cent, Ramakrishnan said.

Declaring that the worst is over the bank, the CEO said he is seeking to restrict fresh slippages to Rs16-17 billion this fiscal, compared with Rs20 billion in FY22, despite setting a double-digit growth target in its loan books.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, he said the bank would remain profitable as it had passed its worst phase. “All critical parameters are now showing significant improvement since he took over on October 1, 2020. We are no more vulnerable as we were at some point of time when our capital adequacy was very low, provision coverage ratio was low, bad loan ratios were high, and skill levels were low,” he said, adding that bank needs to recalibrate its strategy to tide over the economic impact of the Ukraine war and the resultant inflation.

Across the Middle East, SIB facilitates remittances for its customers through exchange house tie ups. The bank has a strategic alliance with Hadi Express Exchange, an exchange entity operating in the UAE since 1994 with branches across the UAE. The tie-up further supplements SIB’s presence in the UAE, in addition to its representative office in Dubai.

SBI’s NRE deposits have grown consistently and touched Rs274.41 billion (Dh12.88 billion) as on 31 March, 2022. The remittance business has also grown by 33 per cent year-on-year.

Albin Thomas, general manager of Hadi Express Exchange, and an official of SIB said deposits from NRIs have been a mainstay of the bank. “We have a good base in the Middle East, especially in the UAE. More and more NRIs are using Hadi Exchange for their remittance services. SIB’s robust digital infrastructure will complement our presence to provide NRIs with effective remittance services.”

The bank is also having remittance tie-up with all other leading exchange houses in the UAE, including Al Ansari Exchange, Lulu International Exchange, Joyalukkas Exchange, and Al Fardan Exchange. —

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