Dubai: Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank, on Sunday opened a representative office in Sharjah.
With the opening of the new office in Sharjah the bank now has three representative offices in the UAE, in addition to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) branch that operates with a Category I licence and a $5 billion (Dh18.36 billion) balance sheet.
The new representative office will engage primarily in promoting the bank’s retail products and services to non-resident Indians (NRIs). The Sharjah representative office will reach out to NRI customers in the emirate and will service customers in other northern emirates of Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
“We are seeing a steady growth in our NRI customer base in the UAE. Currently we have in excess of 130,000 customers in the UAE growing at the rate of 20 per cent per year,” said Rajiv Anand, executive director of Axis Bank.
The UAE has a large NRI community with a dynamic and diverse population base of 3.3 million. Sharjah has an estimated 650,000 NRIs residing in the emirate. While building on market share in the remittance business, the bank is also offering its range of personal banking offerings in addition to investment and wealth services.
“Personal banking transactions, including remittances between the UAE to India, have been growing continuously. [The] opening of the representative office in Sharjah will further extend our presence in the UAE and provide clients easier access to the bank’s services in the region,” Anand said.
The remittances market size between the UAE and India is about $12 billion and Axis Bank has a market share of about 20 per cent. With a focus on facilitating faster and efficient remittances to India by the bank’s NRI customers in the UAE, the bank has tied up with 26 exchange houses and four banks.
Axis Bank’s other overseas presence include a representative office in Dhaka and an overseas subsidiary at London. The bank also has branches in Asian financial hubs of Singapore, Hong Kong, Colombo and DIFC-Dubai, which offer Corporate Credit and Trade Finance solutions to Indian corporates foraying into international markets.
The Axis Bank’s DIFC branch is focused on Indian corporates that have businesses both in India. The banks services range from corporate finance, trade finance, including the extending of external commercial borrowings, arranging and participating in foreign currency loan syndications, and offering working capital financing.
Within India, the bank has 3,589 domestic branches (including extension counters), and 13,977 ATMs across the country. The network of Axis Bank spreads across 1,946 cities and towns.