SBI planning JV with Societe Generale to foray into private banking
By Vaibhav Aggarwal
May 4, 2010
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The largest lender of the country, State Bank of India (SBI) is planning a joint venture with Societe Generale of France in an aim to provide private banking services to ultra high net worth individuals in India. With this step SBI would become the first public sector bank to start services for the ultra rich.

Those individuals who have assets amounting to atleast $1 million are referred to as ultra high net worth individuals.

SBI would be the majority stake holder in the new company holding 60% stake. The remaining would be held by the French Bank. As per a senior SBI official, negotiations regarding stakes in still in process.

Private banking encompasses all investment advices coupled with the financial needs of the customer which includes management and growth of the customer's assets along with estate planning.

The new company would be hiring best talent both from the industry and top B-schools at competitive salaries.

Societe Generale had started its private banking operations in India in the year 2005. The French bank has offices in Delhi and Mumbai.

Estimates suggest that there are around 1,20,000 people in India who have investible surplus of $ 1 million each. They are referred to as dollar millionaires and would be the target audience for the new company.

Banks like ICICI Bank, Standard Chartered and Citibank are currently into this business.


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