Millennium Post

Oldest Australian bank Westpac opens its first branch in India

The oldest and the largest institutional lender in Australia Westpac announced the opening of its first branch here on Thursday.

Westpac has been present in the country through a representative office since 2007 and was awarded banking licence by the Reserve Bank this April.

Westpac India chief executive Vikram Nimkar said: 'Over the last five years we have developed a strong understanding of this market, leveraging our strength in natural resources, agri-business and commodities sectors'.

Bilateral trade between India and Australia is expected to double to AUD 40 billion by 2015.

'The opening of the Mumbai branch is an important step in our growth strategy in Asia. As the number one institutional bank in Australia, we are in a strong position to support our customers to grow in the region,' Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) general manager for Asia Bala Swaminathan said in a statement.

'The Mumbai branch will help deepen trade and investment flows with one of Australia's major trading partners, particularly in the energy, natural resources and agri-business sectors in which we have significant experience,' Bala said.

Westpac will offer wholesale and retail banking services, including trade finance, deposits, remittances, payments and receivables, savings and current accounts, forex and treasury services.

Westpac was founded in 1817 and was the first bank established in Australia. Today, the Westpac Group has branches and controlled entities throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Near Pacific region and maintains offices in key global financial centres like London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.

It has branches in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, a representative office in Jakarta and was the first Australian bank to open an office in China in 1986.
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