Allianz plans to enter Indian retail banking

German insurance giant Allianz is planning to expand its base in the Indian banking sector through group firm Dresdner Bank, in addition to expanding its existing non-banking financial services.

Allianz, currently offers life and general insurance services through its joint ventures with Bajaj Auto. The German firm is understood to have approached regulatory authorities for approvals to enter retail banking. Earlier this month it signed its third joint venture with Bajaj Group to sell financial products like mutual funds, credit cards and home loans.

When contacted, an Asia Pacific spokesperson for Allianz said that from Singapore the company was optimistic about India's economic development and given its economic outlook, it was natural for them to take a closer look at asset management and banking businesses as well. "Customers expect their advisors to offer full range of financial products and Allianz - being one of the biggest financial service providers worldwide, offering insurance, asset management, and banking products in many countries across the globe - is qualified as virtually no other company to provide this range," the official said.

Allianz posted 2006 net income of over €7 billion on revenues of over €101 billion.