Foreign Banks are slowly reducing their presence in India- RBI’s Survey

The presence of foreign banks in India declined in terms of number of branches and employees during 2016-17; the number of overseas branches of Indian banks, on the other hand, increased but there was marginal reduction in their employee strength,” RBI’s survey on international trade in banking services for 2016-17 said.

Foreign banks had 317 branches in 2015-16; it has reduced to 286. In the same period, employee strength came down from 26,642 to 24,766. In the period under consideration, foreign banks shrank their credit book to Rs 3.42 lakh crore, from Rs 3.77 lakh crore a year ago. However, they mobilised little higher deposits to Rs 4.64 lakh crore, from Rs 4.57 lakh crore. Income in the period for foreign banks fell 3.8 per cent to Rs 67,170 crore.

Indian banks marginally increased their branches from 189 to 192 and their subsidiaries working abroad increased to 325 from 310, the data showed. Total number of employees in branches decreased marginally to 3,984 from 4,040, whereas the subsidiaries saw good increase in employee strength to 4,704 in 2016-17, from 4,091.

“The consolidated balance sheet of all the three categories of banks with cross-border presence (viz., overseas branches of Indian banks, overseas subsidiaries of Indian banks and foreign banks in India) contracted during 2016-17, reflecting tepid global economic activity,” the central bank’s survey said.Lower interest income coupled with increase in expenditure resulted in a ‘loss’ for overseas branches of Indian banks in 2016-17, whereas foreign banks “more than compensated their lower interest income with increase in non-interest income, especially other non-fee income.”

Overseas branches of Indian banks generated a major share of fee income by rendering credit related services, trade finance related services and derivative, stocks, securities, forex trading services whereas payment and money transmission services generated the highest fee income for foreign banks operating in India, the survey found.

Indian banks’ branches in UK generated the highest fee income, followed by those in the UAE and Hong Kong.

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