India is on the top of HSBC's mind but laments the restriction of opening branches.
Country head in India and director for Asia Pacific, Naina Lal Kidwai, said that restriction of opening branches for foreign entities in India is an issue which very much bothers the management .
India is the sixth largest contributor to HSBC Group's profit, after Hong Kong, China, UK, Brazil and Canada.
HSBC is present in the country for over 150 years but it has a limited network of 50 branches as Reserve Bank of India does not give licences to foreign banks too easily.
Foreign banks collectively account for less than 7% of banking business in the country while HSBC alone contributed 2% of it.
""India is slowing down. But a 7% growth is still one of the best growth rates anywhere in the world,"" she said.
Kidwai noted that all of HSBC India's businesses doin well and that the retail business has become profitable too.
The regulatory proposal to allow foreign banks to become a subsidiary would help these entities to enjoy a level playing field with local banks. ""We are open on this and are awaiting for more clarity,"" she said.
Foreign banks have sought clarity on tax implications for converting into subsidiaries from being a branch of global entities.
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