State Bank of India Starts Global NRI Center at Kochi, Kerala
The SBI global NRI center in Kochi, Kerala, aims to be the one-stop customer contact point for all NRI banking-related services.
The State Bank of India has started a global NRI center in Kochi, Kerala, to centralize its NRI operations, which are spread across various states and branches. Kerala is among the states that receive the highest amount of remittances in the country.
The center aims to leverage its customer base, which was recorded at 33 lakh as of Jan. 31, and is set to be the one-stop customer service center for all NRI banking-related services. It will act as single point of contact for SBI branches, customers, relationship managers, representative offices and foreign offices.
“We have witnessed consistent growth of our NRI banking portfolio. Our endeavor is to offer our products and services on the digital platform so the our NRI customers experience the ease of banking with us from wherever they are in the world,” SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said in a statement. “That’s why we have centralized all our services besides offering them specialized services.”
With advancing technology, the opportunities to modernize and de-risk the way vital remittances are transferred across borders are immense, Kumar said.
The country’s largest lender has around 53 lakh accounts and an NRI deposit base of Rs 1.95 trillion. As much as 30 per cent of the bank’s NRI total deposit base is from Kerala.
SBI offers a number of services for its NRI clients, including wealth management, SBI Intelligent Assist, free post box service and SBI Mingle for NRIs remittance facility for U.S-based customers. The bank’s NRI customers can use its banking services from any part of globe via a wide range of online facilities, such as account opening, in-principle sanctions of loans and instant remittances and a contact center to offer customer support and issue resolution.
This is the latest initiative for NRIs that has been launched in Kerala, a state known for the large number of people who move abroad for employment purposes. The Pravasi Chitty scheme run by the Kerala State Financial Enterprises (KSFE) hopes to collect Rs 20, 000 crore from 10 lakh NRKs (Non-Resident Keralites) in three years. These funds are the diaspora’s contribution to the development and economy of the state. The state government will give 100 per cent guarantee, besides insurance and pension for those who subscribe to the chit fund. The idea of the scheme is to attract NRIs into putting money into a product acting as an investment once they are home.
In Kerala, remittances were 1.2 times the revenue receipts of the state government, and 1.5 times the government’s annual expenditure up to 2016, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. It makes up for 36.3 per cent of the net state domestic product.