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FirstRand to curtail India retail operations

frbSouth Africa’s FirstRand Bank has decided to reduce its retail banking operations in India. However, the bank will continue to service its clients in India. The bank had undertaken a strategic review, which showed that it should scale down its retail operations, which it felt were limited by the country’s regulatory environment. However, the bank is confident that its retail and commercial operations should be in a position to compete in the longer term. The bank’s chief executive Alan Pullinger said the bank would now focus its strategies on growing its businesses in South Africa and the rest of the African continent. The Indian unit of the bank has started its retail operation in India in 2012 with the intent of targeting the unbanked citizens. It had a successful stint earlier in the corporate and investment banking in view of the increasing trade relations between India and South Africa. Pullinger told a publication in South Africa that the India operations contributed just 4% to the group’s profit before tax in the year ended June 2016.

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