Singapore-based DBS Bank has received in-principal approval by the Reserve Bank (RBI) of India to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS) in India. It is the second bank to get this approval, preceded by Bank of Mauritius. DBS Bank was among the first to apply for WOS when the RBI had issued guidelines in 2014. DBS Group Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta welcomed the delay saying that it gave them time to clear up their books and improve asset quality.
The bank expects to get the final approval within six-eight months, well within the one-year limit.DBS Bank India’s total advances stood at Rs 21,838 crore and total deposits were Rs 26,990 crore as on March 31, 2017. It wrote off Rs 1,396 crore during the year and the gross non-performing assets were 3.77 per cent, or Rs 838.4 crore in absolute terms. Gupta said a subsidiary will allow them to have “deep entrenched presence” in the country. He attributed corporate governance and priority sector lending requirements to the apprehension of other foreign banks to open subsidiaries. “Unlike other international players which prefer to do suitcase banking, DBS group has always been an embedded player with subsidiaries in other key markets like China, Indonesia and Malaysia,” he added.