India's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank obtained yesterday qualifying full bank (QFB) licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) which permits the bank to carry out its full range of banking services including retail banking.
MAS is the island-nation's central bank responsible for its monetary policy, currency issue, management of official foreign reserves and the supervision of the country's financial services.
According to Singapore law, a QFB can expand its network up to 25 places of business and share their ATMs.
With the new status, India's second-largest bank joins Singapore's QFB league along with global banking giants such as Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank etc.
Mumbai-based ICICI Bank is the second Indian financial institution to enjoy QFB privileges in Singapore.
Public sector banking major, State Bank of India, which has been present in Singapore since 1977 with an offshore banking licence involved in commercial and wholesale banking, got the QFB status in March 2008 (See: SBI gets nod to start retail operations in Singapore) and in a move aimed at increasing the global balance-sheet size, said in June 2009 that it would double its branch network in the island nation, from the four it then had (See: SBI to double branch network in Singapore)
Currently . SBI operates 7 branches and 17 ATMs under its licence.