DBS to launch commercial banking operations

Singapore-headquartered financial services giant DBS will begin commercial banking operations in India in October this year.

“We are looking to start the operations in October,” DBS Group CEO Piyush Gupta told Moneycontrol in Singapore.

DBS Bank India (DBS India), part of Asia’s leading financial services group DBS Group Holdings, received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in September last year to convert its existing India franchise to a locally incorporated wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS) in India.

DBS Bank India will be the latest entrant in India’s rapidly evolving banking space that is seeing many legacy financial institutions struggling with disruptions caused by a string of new-age fintech startups that are offering specialised services – including loans to low-income customers – often ignored by high-street banks.

Most Indian banks are also battling a mount of bad loans. Bank credit needs, however, are rising to fulfill industry’s capital needs. Fulfilling industries’ capital requirements are necessary to retain the country’s status as the world’s fastest-growing major economy and stay in the elite league of world’s top economies.

Latest World Bank data ranked India, with a GDP of USD 2.6 trillion as the sixth largest in the world, overtaking France.

Through the WOS, DBS will leverage its overall strengths and resources, along with its experience in India, to build a scalable business through a multi-channel strategy. This will include a combination of digital and physical formats to allow the bank to cater to the requirements of convenience and presence by its target customer segments.

DBS will be able to bring its product innovation and technology-led delivery model from across Asia to serve retail, small and medium enterprise (SME) and large corporates across a larger footprint.

Gupta said the bank will build upon its “Digibank India” plan, offering a “paperless, signature-less and fully digital, eliminating the need to ever visit a branch”.

It will use “front-to-back digital servicing model using artificial intelligence (AI)-enables chatbot to minimise manual processing”.

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