HDFC Bank applies for licence in Singapore to tap Indian diaspora

HDFC Bank, India’s biggest private sector lender, is seeking to open its first branch in Singapore, signalling its overseas ambitions after sewing up a landmark merger with mortgage financier Housing Development Finance Corporation last year. 

The bank has applied to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a banking licence and is awaiting approval, according to sources familiar with the matter. It is not clear what kind of banking licence HDFC Bank is seeking in Singapore, one of the sources has said, declining to be identified as the information is confidential.  

The banking giant is seeking a bigger presence abroad to tap the Indian diaspora for savings and term deposits as well as to cross-sell more products, including mortgages. At home, HDFC has been focusing on deepening its reach in the world’s most populous country through loans to retail customers.  

HDFC Bank did not respond to an email seeking comment. “As a matter of policy, MAS does not comment on our dealings with financial institutions,” a spokesperson from the Singapore regulator has said.  

Singapore, with a population of almost 60 lakh people, houses a large India diaspora. About 6,50,000 non-resident and persons of Indian origin live in the City-State, according to Indian government data. 

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