HDFC Bank Seeks Singapore Banking License for Global Growth
HDFC Bank, India's largest private sector lender, is looking to establish its inaugural branch in Singapore, indicating its global aspirations following a significant merger with Housing Development Finance Corp. last year. The bank has submitted an application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a banking license, with approval pending, according to sources familiar with the matter. The specific type of banking license HDFC Bank is seeking in Singapore remains unclear, and the information is confidential, as per one of the sources.
HDFC Bank aims to expand its global presence to leverage the Indian diaspora for savings and term deposits, along with cross-selling various products, including mortgages, according to sources. While HDFC Bank has been concentrating on enhancing its footprint in India through retail customer loans, the bank is now seeking to establish a stronger presence abroad. The bank has applied for a banking license in Singapore from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Singapore, home to a substantial Indian diaspora of about 650,000 people, offers an opportunity for HDFC Bank to tap into this demographic. The specific type of banking license sought by HDFC Bank in Singapore remains undisclosed, and the MAS does not provide comments on dealings with financial institutions as a matter of policy.
HDFC Bank, as per its website, is currently not licensed or regulated by the MAS and provides home loans-related advisory services for property purchases in India. The categories of banking licenses in Singapore include full banks, qualifying full banks, and wholesale banks, each imposing varying levels of restrictions on lenders’ activities. State Bank of India and ICICI Bank Ltd. hold qualifying full banking licenses in Singapore, among others. These licenses, open to foreign banks, permit additional branches, off-premise ATMs, and ATM sharing among themselves.