The country's 6th largest bank, Bank of Baroda is all set to spread its banking operations in New Zealand, initially with a branch in Auckland.
The Bank of Baroda had sent an application to RBI and the banking regulator refused to disclose anything beyond this. The bank is expected to function as a subsidiary company in New Zealand and offer a wide range of banking services. It is understood that the subsidiary will be governed by a board, comprising local and overseas directors to meet Reserve Bank regulations and that the process is now in its final stages of approval. The bank has also appointed a senior executive to head the branch.
Dr Anil Kumar Khandelwal, who visited Auckland as chairman and managing director of the bank in May 2007, told to the local media that BOB was keen to establish its presence in New Zealand, which he said offered immense growth potential to serve not only the Indian community but also other ethnic groups.
Registration is a necessity if any company wants to be called ‘bank' in New Zealand. There are currently 17 registered banks in the country.
"BOB has its presence in 70 branches [now 71] around the world and we consider New Zealand to be an ideal destination for business," Dr Khandelwal told the National Business Review.
"Apart from its booming economy, India's ‘Look East Policy' and market reforms, its increasing role in the Association of South Asian Nations countries afford closer economic, financial and social cooperation with countries such as Australia and New Zealand," he had said.
Bank started its overseas operation by opening its first branch way back in 1953 in Mombassa, Kenya. Since then the Bank has come a long way in expanding its international network to serve NRIs and locals. BOB opened a representative office in Australia last year, while its branch in Fiji has been in operation since 1961. It further plans to open branches or subsidiaries in Canada, Kuwait, Mozambique, Qatar, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
It has significant international presence with a network of 70 offices in 24 countries, six subsidiaries, and four representative offices. The Bank has diversified services in various segments of merchant banking, housing finance, credit cards and mutual funds. Bank offers specialized services for business and corporate sectors.
M D Mallya has succeeded Dr Khandelwal as Chairman and Managing Director of Bank of Baroda on May 7, 2008.