ICICI Frankfurt to focus on online, tele banking

Written by Agencies | Frankfurt, February 29: | Updated: Feb 29 2008, 15:38pm hrs
ICICI Bank intends to capture a share in the German market for online and telephone banking through its newly set up branch here, its Managing Director and CEO K V Kamath has said.

The bank, which is India's second largest lender, opened its branch at Mainzer Landstrasse, Frankfurt, through its wholly-owned subsidiary ICICI Bank UK. The branch will start operations on Monday with a ten-member staff and an affiliated call-centre.

ICICI Bank already has a branch in Brussels in Europe.

Germany becomes the 19th country where the bank has presence. Germany is at the heart of Europe and it has the largest and one of the most dynamic economies on the continent and "we are very delighted by this great opportunity to do business in this market," Kamath said.

He said that the bank is coming to Germany fully prepared to take on much bigger German banks and other financial institutions with attractive packages and rely on its strength and capabilities in banking and financial services sectors.

Kamath hoped the bank's model of online and telephone banking services, which proved to be successful in Britain, becomes a success in Germany too.

The bank began its operations in Britain by serving the non-resident Indian community, 60 per cent of its customers for 'HighSave' online and telephone banking service are non-NRIs.

The bank has consolidated total assets of USD 115 billion as on December 31, 2007 and a market capitalisation exceeding USD 30 billion.

The bank also launched a call money account HIZins a no frills savings account with withdrawals available on a daily basis-- at an interest rate of 4.75 per cent.

Sonjoy Chatterjee, Executive Director responsible for corporate and institutional banking, said "after the success of our consumer business in the UK, we are entering the German market with what we believe is a compelling customer savings product".

ICICI Bank's online and telephone banking scheme has been quite successful in a highly competitive market like the UK and similar growth could be possible in Germany, he said.

On the corporate side, the bank will focus on facilitating more Indian acquisitions in Germany and the potential for that is great, especially in the pharmaceuticals and engineering sectors, Chatterjee said.

It will also facilitate greater trade and investment flows between India and Germany, he added.