Axis Bank to open for business in Britain

LONDON Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:08pm IST

An employee speaks on his mobile phone as he walks inside Axis Bank's corporate headquarters in Mumbai July 17, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files

An employee speaks on his mobile phone as he walks inside Axis Bank's corporate headquarters in Mumbai July 17, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Vivek Prakash/Files

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LONDON (Reuters) - Axis Bank, India's third-biggest privately owned lender, has been granted a banking license in Britain and will open its first branch in the City of London on Friday.

The bank received approval in April from Britain's financial regulator to provide a full range of banking services including deposit-taking and making loans and investments, it said on Thursday.

Britain is encouraging new banks to open to increase competition in financial services. It has introduced measures to encourage new entrants including allowing start-up banks to hold less capital than their established rivals.

Axis Bank UK's Chief Executive Cyril Anand said it would pursue corporate and retail banking opportunities in Britain and Europe having already expanded outside of India into Singapore, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.

"With its presence in the major financial hubs in Asia, the bank is in a position to complement the business arising from the UK," he said.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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