ICICI Bank, IndusInd unveil NRI remittance products

Mumbai, March 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2005, 05:39am hrs
Gearing up to tap the $20-billion Indian remittance market, ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank have separately rolled out new products to enable expatriate Indians to send money to their home country. ICICI Bank has inked an agreement with Wells Fargo Bank while IndusInd Bank has joined hands with Bank of New York for this purpose.

Addressing mediapersons, Bhargav Dasgupta, senior general manager and head of international banking, ICICI Bank, said: Wells Fargo Bank is also open to extend this strategic alliance to other products like insurance, mortgages and property services.

According to James Cullin, executive vice-president, Well Fargo Bank, In such an arrangement, ICICI Bank will originate mortgage pools in the US. It will also undertake underwriting and set rates as prescribed by us before passing on the pools to us. We will take care of back office operations.

ICICI Bank also plans to open a branch in Hong kong. It has received Reserve Bank of Indias approval and is awaiting the approval of Hong Kong monetary authority, Mr Dasgupta said. The global remittance market is estimated at $110 billion, with approximately $20 billion a year, coming into India. Non-resident Indians (NRIs) living in the US, numbering over 1.5 million, remit over $7 billion to India annually.

IndusInd Bank has launched its Indus Fast Remit, a product developed to receive remittances in dollars and India Speed-Remit for banks NRIs client base in United Arab Emirates. The bank will rope in a global private banking entity to form a capital market subsidiary to provide wealth and portfolio management services for non-resident Indians.