DBS Bank sets up India subsidiary

Reported by: |Updated: March 5, 2019

DBS Bank has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary in India, DBS Bank India. This marks a key milestone for the Singapore bank, which has been present in India for 25 years. It had set up a representative office in India in 1994 and opened its first bank branch in 1995. It now operates in 12 cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Nashik, Surat, Kolhapur, Salem, Cuddalore and Moradabad. Piyush Gupta, Group CEO, DBS Bank said as an Asian bank, it is imperative that it takes a long-term view of the region. “We believe it is important to continue investing in Asia’s two biggest markets – China and India. In 2016, we launched digibank, a groundbreaking mobile-only offering, in India. We recently started piloting data-driven lending solutions for small and medium enterprises. The creation of a full-fledged subsidiary in India allows us to scale up further and bring to customers a more compelling proposition,” he added.

Since the launch of digibank two years ago, the bank has acquired over 2.5 million customers in India. In addition to savings accounts, digibank also offers unsecured loans and is the first to offer paperless onboarding for mutual fund investments from multiple fund houses.

DBS Bank India CEO Surojit Shome said launch of the wholly-owned subsidiary is a significant milestone for DBS India as it enables the bank to deepen and embed its commitment to growing its franchise in India in a sustainable manner. “The launch will enable us to further build our relationship with our customers and create differentiated offerings as financial services continues to transform rapidly with changes in technology and consumer preferences,” he added.

The bank intends to accelerate its growth plans, expand its operations and build greater scale in India through a “phygital” model to further serve large corporates, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and individual customers. It will establish over 100 customer touchpoints – a combination of branches and kiosks – across 25 cities in the next 12-18 months. In March alone, it will open 9 new branches and extend its reach to Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore and Ludhiana.

DBS Bank has put Rs 7700 crore worth of capital, including Rs 1800 crore during calendar 2018. It will spend Rs 125-150 crore in expanding its network. It is the second bank to have received RBI’s approval to operate through a wholly-owned subsidiary route, State Bank of Mauritius being the other bank.