Nearly 14 foreign banks have sought India’s central bank approval to open branches and begin operations in the country.

Four banks from South Korea, three from Iran, two from China and the Netherlands are among the applicants.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also received applications from Czech Republic, Sri Lanka and Malaysia- based banks.

Currently, RBI is evaluating the applications.

At the end of March last year, around 49 foreign banks were operating in the country.

Overall, the foreign banks have nearly 288 branches across India led by Standard Chartered Bank, which has 100 branches across the country.

Citibank, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking and Deutsche Bank also have significant presence in India with 40, 26 and 17 branches respectively.

Last year, foreign and overseas banking operations significantly reduced in terms of the number of branches and employees, according to the latest RBI survey on International Trade in Banking Services 2016-17.

Foreign banking operating may soar again, if the new applicants secure necessary approvals from RBI.

Among the applicants, Iranian entities Bank Pasargad and Parsian Bank looks to open their first branch in India while the other Iranian lender Saman Bank seeks to set up a representative office.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) applied to open its second branch in New Delhi, while Bank of China intends to open its first branch.

South Korean lenders Kookmin Bank and Nonghyup Bank applied to open their first branch, KEB Hana Bank has sought to open its second branch and Woori Bank applied to open a Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) in the country.