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DBS gets approval to establish wholly-owned local subsidiary in India

DBS Bank India (DBS India), part of Asia's leading financial services group, DBS Group Holdings, has received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to convert its existing India franchise to a locally incorporated wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS) in India.

Announcing this on Monday, DBS said it will leverage its overall strengths and resources, and its experience in India, through the WOS, to build a scalable business through a multi-channel strategy.

This includes a combination of digital and physical formats to allow the bank to cater to the requirements of convenience and presence by its target customer segments.

DBS said, in a press statement, that it will be able to bring its product innovation and technology-led delivery model from across Asia to serve retail, small and medium enterprise (SME) and large corporates across a larger footprint.

Underlining its commitment to India and as part of its ongoing journey to shape the future of banking, DBS also launched its new India headquarters at Express Towers in Nariman Point in Mumbai on Monday.

Spread across 100,000 square feet over five floors in Express Towers, the set-up, with activity-based workspaces and social zones, is designed to facilitate greater interaction and ideation among employees, so that they can "reimagine the customer journey and turn banking into a joyful experience".

The new office is unique for a bank as it features open, collaborative workspaces that reflects DBS' push to embed a start-up culture within the bank.

This latest investment follows a number of strategic initiatives that DBS rolled out in India over the past few years.

Last year alone saw the bank launch digibank, India's first mobile-only bank, acquiring about 1.5 million customers to date; integrate its e-banking solution with India's leading enterprise resource planning software, saving SME and corporate customers considerable time and effort; and establish DBS Asia Hub 2 in Hyderabad, its largest technology hub outside Singapore, to strengthen its technological capabilities in the region, and support its digital banking strategy.

DBS was the first Singapore bank to set up a representative office in India in 1994, upgrading it to a formal bank branch a year later. It is currently the largest Singapore bank in India and the country's fifth-largest foreign bank by assets.