India’s third largest private sector bank, Axis Bank, has set up shop in the UK.
Axis Bank UK Limited, based in King Street in London, is the bank’s first overseas subsidiary located in Europe.
The branch received approval from the UK regulators in April to carry out banking business, including deposit-taking and issuing loans.
The London branch is the latest addition to eight overseas locations of Axis, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, China and the United Arab Emirates.
Shikha Sharma, CEO of Axis Bank, said the launch was a milestone for the bank. "The UK is an important destination for many overseas Indian companies. We are excited to be a part of their success and thrilled to be open for business," she said.
Cyril Anand, who will head the Axis UK branch, said the bank could boost economic growth in Britain. "With its presence in the major financial hubs in Asia, the Bank is in a position to complement the business arising from UK and participate in and contribute meaningfully to the economic growth of the country," he said.
The branch opening follows an announcement in March by the FSA that applicants for UK banking licenses would face lighter capital and liquidity requirements, and receive a decision within six months.
By establishing a UK presence, Axis is following the lead of a number of Indian banks already present in the country including State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, ICICI and Bank of India.