Credit Suisse granted bank branch licence in India

Indian regulators allow Credit Suisse to open a bank branch in Mumbai, enabling it to broaden its suite of products and services in the country.

Credit Suisse has received in-principle approval from India's banking regulator, the Reserve Bank of India, to establish a bank branch in the country.

Credit Suisse will open the branch in Mumbai. The licence will allow it to accept deposits, provide financing to clients and deal in Government of India securities, other domestic fixed-income products and foreign exchange.

In 2008 Credit Suisse acquired a non-bank financial company (NBFC) in India. And in January 2009 it capitalised the NBFC with a $203 million capital infusion to enable it to use the unit for business transactions. Credit Suisse has also invested $240 million of private equity into Indian companies through different funds.

"This is a key pillar of our Asia-Pacific strategy of developing our onshore presence in major markets throughout the region," said Kai Nargolwala, chief executive officer of Credit Suisse Asia-Pacific in a written statement. "We believe that having a local banking presence will enable us to build stronger relationships with our clients and meet more of their needs. Credit Suisse views India as a key strategic growth market for the bank globally."

The Swiss bank launched wealth management operations in India in May 2008. It is also active in investment banking and asset management, and provides equity brokerage and research services through Credit Suisse Securities (India), which has broker dealer licences on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange. It also has a merchant banking licence for investment banking activities and a portfolio management licence for its wealth management business from the Securities & Exchange Board of India.

Rival Swiss firm UBS received approval for its bank branch in 2008 and started operating the branch in January 2009. Earlier this month, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) received in-principle approval for a foreign bank licence in India.

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