The Kerala-based Dhanalakshmi Bank is on a drive to ramp up its NRI (Non-resident Indian) deposit base and has devised a strategy to more than double business to Rs 1,000 crore by the end of this fiscal.
"We plan to take our NRI deposit base to around Rs 1,000 crore from the present Rs 400 crore by the end of FY11," Dhanalakshmi Bank Branch Banking & NRI Business Head Salil Datar told PTI here.
The lender's NRI deposit base was around 5 per cent last fiscal, and this year it wants to take this to around 10 per cent of the overall deposit base by mainly focussing on its core market of Kerala. Currently, it gets almost 95 per cent of its NRI business from the Gulf markets, he said.
India is the largest recipient of foreign remittances in the world with a whopping $47.9 billion flowing in as of March 2010.
Datar, however, noted that though the country as a whole saw a meager 0.67 per cent growth against a much higher 7.27 per cent in the y-o-y period, the bank has seen this jumping by nearly 12 per cent, taking its base from Rs 350 crore last fiscal to Rs 400 crore by the end of Q1 FY11.
During the first quarter of this fiscal, the overall NRI deposit book touched $48.21 billion, while it stood at $41.55 billion in remittance as of March 2009, which had grown to $44.58 billion in first quarter of last fiscal.
Attributing this fall to the RBI move of reducing the FCNR interest rate, Datar said, to attract more customers, the bank has increased its deposit rates for NRIs to 8 per cent recently and that has been received well.
He further said the bank is also planning to offer portfolio investment services (PIS) to NRIs.
Towards this end, the private lender has already secured its board's approval and will soon seek the RBI nod to offer PIS schemes to NRIs across the world barring the US, where that facility is not allowed, Datar said.
As part of the deposit drive, he said, the bank is widening its agency networks in the Gulf and has increased its tie-ups with money transfer agencies to eight now.