Westpac opens first India Branch


Australian bank Westpac on Thursday announced that it has opened its first branch in India. The branch, located in Mumbai, will support Australian customers and a growing number of Indian customers with trade and investment links into Australia and Asia.

"Our Mumbai branch will help to deepen trade and investment flows with one of Australia's major trading partners, particularly in the energy, natural resources and agri-business sectors in which Westpac has significant experience," said Bala Swaminathan, Westpac General Manager, Asia.

India is currently Australia's fifth-largest trading partner and fourth-largest export market with bilateral trade expected to double to AUD$40bn by 2015.

Westpac has operated in India through its representative office since 2007 and was awarded a banking licence by the Reserve Bank of India in April. The bank will offer wholesale and retail banking services in India including trade finance, deposits, remittances, payments and receivables, savings and current account, foreign exchange and treasury services predominantly in Indian rupee.

Vikram Nimkar, Chief Executive Officer, Westpac India said "Over the last 5 years we have developed a strong understanding of the Indian market and have built deep relationships with our customers, leveraging our strength in the natural resources, agri-business and commodities sectors."

"We have a strong team with extensive local market experience who are focused on delivering superior value to our customers." Vikram said.

Westpac has branches in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, a representative office in Jakarta and was the first Australian bank to open an office in China in 1986.

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