RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, India

SBI to add 4 South Africa branches

The lender chose organic growth than M&A for expansion as it opens opportunity for sustained growth for those wanting to tap into the Indian market.

India’s largest bank, State Bank of India will open a further four branches in South Africa and expand into the retail banking space to take advantage of South African businesses seeking to invest in India.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday evening following his visit to South Africa, State Bank of India Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri said the bank plans to grow through green fields in SA and is not on the “look-out to acquire” a South African bank.

The bank which has three branches in SA will bring its compliment to seven when it opens for business in Chatsworth, Laudium, Phoenix and Port Elizabeth by the end of the year. Currently it has branches in Lenasia, Durban and Cape Town. However, its core business in South Africa will be in corporate banking and the plan is not to compete with local banks in the retail space.

“We are not expecting to become a leading bank ... we are not competing with them [local banks]. We have our own niche ... As the State Bank of India we do not think we will be in a position to substitute the South African banks ,” Chaudhuri said.

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