ICICI Bank posts 50 percent growth in Canada

January 1st, 2009 - 12:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Jan 1 (IANS) Defying market trends, ICICI Bank posted 50 per cent growth in Canada in 2008, crossing $ 6 billion in assets.Rated as one of the best foreign banks operating in Canada, ICICI Bank (Canada) is a 100 per cent subsidiary of the parent bank in India. It has nine branches across Canada, including six in Toronto, two in Vancouver and one in Calgary.

“Contrary to what is happening in world markets now, ICICI Bank (Canada) crossed $6 billion in assets and reached a customer base of 250,000 in the outgoing year. The very fact that two-thirds of our customers are mainstream Canadians says a lot about ICICI,” bank CEO Hari Panday told IANS.

“Not only are we poised for big growth in business, but we are also embarking on showcasing India as a favourite destination for Canadian investors in the New Year,” said Panday.

He said the bank is approaching Canadian firms, foundations, endowments, and pension funds to woo them to invest in India’s private equity funds, infrastructure funds, etc.

Panday, who is the only corporate honcho invited by the Indian government to Parvasi Bharati Divas in Chennai next week, said, “I have been invited to speak on the topic of `Building Bridges: Trade and Investment.’ This fits in well with our plans. I will meet officials to build bridges between India and the Indian diaspora.”

The aim of ICICI Bank, he said, is to “align the Indian diaspora to the needs of India” to spur its growth.

“Investors may read a lot about what is being offered, but no one signs a check without taking a hard look at things. ICICI Bank wants to be the bridge builder. I will begin with India’s ministry concerned with NRI affairs,” said Panday who is also president of ICICI Wealth Management.

On the wealth management side, he said, ICICI Bank will bring Indian mutual funds to the Canadian market in the New Year.

“We are also applying to become a full-fledged brokerage house as we have only a limited market dealer licence now. We want to become a full brokerage house to build a full-fledged wealth management platform,” he said.

Panday said the bank will consider the prevailing economic scenario before deciding on new branches.

The bank CEO said, “In 2009, we will focus on improving on services and products, including more emphasis on home loans. Though are the only foreign bank to offer ATM services in many languages - Chinese, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and English - in North America, we want banking with us a whole new experience.”

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