Money & Banking

HSBC open to subsidiary bank model in India: Flint

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 11, 2017

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Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Group General Manager and Country Head, HSBC India.





HSBC is keen to ramp up presence in India and is also not averse to go in for a subsidiary bank model in this market, its Chairman, Mr Douglas Flint, has said.

“Our ambition is to be not just the largest foreign bank (in India), but also play the leading role in international flow two-way between India and rest of the world,” Mr Flint told a media round table here.

Currently, HSBC does about 6 per cent of the trade flows financing for India and would like to see that grow as well, he said.

India and profits

Mr Flint, who is on his first visit to India since being appointed Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings last year, said that there was no reason why India cannot be among the top five contributors of profits to the HSBC group.

Currently, India is the seventh largest contributor to the bottomline of the HSBC Group.

“The scale of the opportunity in terms of economic and financial development of India and given the fact we have been here ever since we were formed (1865), we believe India can be top four or five for HSBC and we would like it to be,” Mr Flint said.

Growth opportunity

He also said that he sees huge opportunity for HSBC to grow organically in India. On the recent RBI discussion paper over the possibility of different organisation structure for foreign banks here, Mr Flint said that HSBC welcomes the paper and was analysing and studying the proposals.

“If a subsidiary model gives us more opportunity, we will be very happy to have a subsidiary.

“We are not emotionally tied one way or the other. Whichever model gives us the most opportunity we are very comfortable putting full weight of support behind it,” he said.

The Show here

Last year (calendar year 2010) was the best year for HSBC in India with profit before tax up 82 per cent to $679 million. HSBC has in India 50 commercial bank branches, second highest among foreign banks operating here.

Mr Flint also said that HSBC will explore every opportunity — organic or inorganic — to expand its platform in India.

“We have been here for 145 years. We have 170 outlets including 50 bank branches. This is pretty small for a country (India) of this importance. Whenever opportunity arises from regulatory change or simple opportunity, we will pursue it,” he said.

Listing

On listing in India, Mr Flint made it clear that it was not something “off the table”, but it was “not something that we analysed as necessary to do given that the liquidity in HSBC stock is mainly in London and Hong Kong.”

Mr Flint said that if there are pools of capital in India which can only be accessed by listing here, then it (listing) makes sense. “We are a bank which is well capitalised and the opportunity to support Indian operations exists. The reason to list in India will not be because we are short of capital, but because it makes sense to list in India,” said Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Group General Manager and Country Head, HSBC India.

krsrivats@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 03, 2011

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