Indian banks expansion in overseas market pending: Leeladhar

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Mumbai, Nov 26 (UNI) Describing the regulatory environment in the banking system conducive for the entry of foreign banks, the Reserve Bank of India, Deputy governor V Leeladhar today said developed countries like USA are not reciprocating in the similiar manner in allowing expansion of Indian banks.

Delivering the special address at the Bankers conference' here, Leeladhar said ''Notwithstanding the WTO obligations, permitting foreign banks presence in country in some senses is also guided by the extent of reciprocity amongst the nations''.

Drawing a parallel between the regulatory regime between India and other countries, he said that during the period 2003 to 2007 India had granted 19 authorisations to the US-based banks. However, during the same period of five years, US did not authorise any office of the Indian banks in its territory.

He said some of the requests have been pending with the US authorities for more than five years.

At present, there are 29 foreign banks operating in India with a network of 273 branches and 871 off-site ATMS.

Leeladhar asserted that the regulatory regime followed by the apex bank in respect of foreign banks is non-discriminatory and said that '' the regulatory regime is not only liberal but generous by global standards''.

'' India issues a single class of banking licence to foreign banks and does not require them to graduate from a lower to higher category of banking licence over a number of years, as is the practice followed in certain other jurisdictions'' he added.

Leeladhar pointed out that deposit insurance cover is uniformly available to all foriegn banks at a non discriminatory rate of premium.

UNI

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