Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), an Australian bank, has set up its first branch in India, in the city of Mumbai. On the inaugural of its first branch in the country, Westpac issued a statement which said, "The branch will support Australian customers and a growing number of Indian customers with trade and investment links to Australia and Asia."
Before opening its first branch here it had its presence in the country through a representative office, which was set up in the year 2007. It is reported that the Reserve Bank of India issued WBC a banking license in April this year.
Talking about the bank's strengths, the General Manager (Asia) of Westpac Banking Corporation Mr. Bala Swaminathan said, "We are rated ‘AA-' and have a strong financial footing. The opening of our Mumbai branch is an important step in our growth strategy in Asia."
The foreign bank will reportedly provide both wholesale and retail banking facilities to customers in the country. The services that it will provide include savings accounts and current accounts, remittances, trade finance, facilities of foreign exchange and treasury services in Indian currency and payments and receivables services.
Other Australian banks having branches in India include National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Bank. ANZ opened its first branch in the country in the year 2010, whereas National Austrailian Bank set up its first branch here earlier this year.