ANZ gets RBI nod for two new branches at Gurgaon, Bangalore

ANZ, or the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, today said it has received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India to open two new branches in the country. ANZ will open these branches in Gurgaon and outer Bangalore.

So far, the banking group has only one branch in the country, in Mumbai. It offers Indian rupee and foreign currency services, working capital and term financing, transaction banking, global markets, deposits and advisory services.

"The approval to open branches in these commercial hubs will strengthen our superior regional strategy, expand our ability to support clients and build on our position as a leading bank in Asia. India is the world's third largest economy on purchasing parity terms and it remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world ... continuing to connect our customers between India and the other32 countries in our network creates a further driver of growth for ANZ," Andrew G'czy, the bank's chief executive for international and institutional banking, said in a statement.

The bank said the in-principle approval is valid for 12 months.

"The new branches will complement our existing branch in Mumbai by enabling greater coverage and connectivity for our customers...Over time, we will seek to broaden our franchise in the country to further support our customers in the region," Subhas DeGamia, ANZ's chief executive for India, said.

Earlier this year, the RBI allowed Citibank to open three new branches - at Nagpur and Thane in Maharashtra and Sreilingampally near Hyderabad, which will increase its branch count to 45 in India.

Standard Chartered Bank currently has the largest network among foreign lenders in thecountry with 99 branches. Under a commitment to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), RBI had agreed to offer at least 12 branch licences to foreign banks every year.

G'czy said in the ANZ statement, "The approval to open two branches will strengthen our super-regional strategy, expand our ability to support clients and build on our position as a leading bank in Asia.

"Despite the recent slowdown, trade flows between India and the rest of Asia soared 900 percent over the past 10 years to USD 330 billion and it is the fourth largest destination for Australian exports."