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September 27, 2011updated 04 Apr 2017 1:07pm

FirstRand to start retail banking in India in December

South African lender FirstRand will open its first retail branch in Mumbai in December 2011. FirstRand, South Africas second-largest bank by market value, plans to become the first African bank to offer retail banking in India.

By Meghna Mukerjee

South African lender FirstRand will open its first retail branch in Mumbai in December 2011.

FirstRand, South Africa’s second-largest bank by market value, plans to become the first African bank to offer retail banking in India.

FirstRand already holds a full commercial banking licence in India, and has a presence in Mumbai.

Michael Jordaan, CEO of First National Bank (FNB), a subsidiary of FirstRand, told RBI:

“Similar to our successful foray into Africa, FNB’s entry into the Indian market will be via a greenfields or startup strategy, where the bank will set up full retail and commercial banking capabilities in-country. This will allow capital to be deployed incrementally with reliance to be placed on established, home-grown systems and processes.”

The lender will be trading as FRB (FirstRand Bank) in India. Said Jordaan, “In essence we are backing our entrepreneurial capability and the innovative products that have differentiated us in South Africa. We are cognizant that a market of this size will need one to constantly review our in-country strategy, as scale in India is important.”

Jordaan added that FirstRand will evaluate working with “known groups in the market to build scale by referrals and close associations”, including the possibility of partnering with non banking financial institutions, telcos or retailers.

 

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