Union Bank of India plans to become global player

ABU DHABI — The Union Bank of India (UBI), one of the top public sector banks in India, has worked out ambitious plans to position itself as a major global player in the coming years, according to its Chairman and Managing Director M V Nair.

By T Ramavarman

Published: Tue 1 Jul 2008, 11:46 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:38 PM

"We have already opened our representative offices in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi last year. We have applied for permission to open offices in ten more locations abroad, including in areas like Sydney and Canada," the Chairman told Khaleej Times here.

"We are also planning to diversify our operations, by floating subsidiaries. We have already launched a joint venture with Daichi Insurance of Japan to enter into the insurance sector. We are also working out an arrangement with a leading Belgium-based asset management firm to launch joint venture in the mutual funds sector," he said.

According to him UBI has launched several schemes to address the banking requirements of the Non-Resident Indians (NRI). "The remittance from the NRIs will now be transferred online to the accounts of the beneficiaries. We've introduced an SMS alert system to give feed backs to the NRIs on the delivery of their remittance to the beneficiaries back home in India. The beneficiaries will also get an SMS alert as soon as the remittances are transferred into their accounts."

"The beneficiaries can withdraw money from any of the 33,000-odd ATMs of different banks in India, and we don't charge them for using the ATM of another bank," M V Nair said.

The home loan applications from the NRIs will be processed within 48 hours, and the final sanction will be accorded within five days after submitting the documents. The education loan procedures for NRIs have also been simplified by the UBI. A ready kit comprising of ATM cards, pin number, log in password, multi-city check books will be given to the NRIs who are starting account with the UBI, the Chairman said.

Replying to questions he said all the 2500-odd branches of the bank had been computerised and had been brought under the Core Banking Solution system. "We have applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for permission to start 400 branches this year."

He said despite inflation Indian economy was likely to achieve substantial growth rate this year also. "Of course there will be some impact of inflation on the growth rate, and it may not reach nine per cent as was expected in the beginning. I expect the growth rate to be around 7.5 per cent to eight per cent this year, and still it will be a good rate compared to many other countries."

"The current inflation in India is not caused by internal factors but was driven by external factors like surging oil price. But the fundamentals of Indian economy are strong."

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