Top 10 Most Reliable and Leading Foreign Banks in India

Want to Know How Many Foreign banks are there in India?

Well, There are around 45 foreign banks operating in India, according to a list issued in January 2018 by the regulator, Reserve Bank of India. You can consider utilising their services too.

In fact, India can be termed as a heavily banked country.

There are over 20 nationalised banks– those owned and operated by the Indian government.

Then we have several private sector lenders and significant players in the cooperative banking sector. Additionally, India is also home to hundreds of rural and regional banks.

Reasons to Opt for Foreign Bank

If you are considering to migrate to some foreign country for work or gain permanent residency or, are engaged in a business that frequently requires transacting with organisations abroad, open an account with a top international bank operating in India.

Thanks to India’s booming economy and the promise of further development, banks from all over the world have branches and offices in this country.

Some foreign banks in India are open to individual customers. Means, you can open a regular savings bank account with them. Others welcome only corporate clients.

The nature of the business of foreign banks in India depends on the license granted by the Reserve Bank of India and other Indian government authorities.

A resident Indian citizen can also open savings or current account with a foreign bank in India. Generally, foreign banks in India operate in major cities only due to various limitations.

Regardless, foreign banks provide a very sophisticated range of services and are customer friendly.

List Of  Top 10 Largest Foreign Banks in India

If any of these reasons are sufficient for you to consider using the services of a top International bank in India, visit their offices, send an email or give them a call.

They would be able to offer a wide range of banking and finance solutions.

1. Citi Group


Citi Group, earlier known as Citibank the largest International bank in India. It is present in India since 1902 by opening its first offices in Kolkata.

In fact, it was the first American bank in India to launch its operations.

Citi offers a slew of services for personal and corporate clients. These range from savings accounts and other wealth management solutions to complex industrial and project finance.

This bank can rightly be credited for many firsts in India’s banking sector. It was the first foreign bank to offer credit cards to the large middle-income group of India in the early 1990s.

Till then, credit cards were the mainstay of very affluent families, and acceptance was limited. Citi Group also spurred the development of Information Technology in India.

Citi Group launched Citicorp Overseas Software Ltd and Iflex Solutions Limited. They are pioneers of the Information Technology Enabled Services in India financial services through Citigroup Global Services Limited.

Citi bank operates in megacities of India. It also operates ATM sites at key locations. The bank continues its booming credit card business in this country.

Citi offers seamless banking solutions to customers. It is a bank of choice among discerning Indians and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).

2. HSBC Bank

hsbc foreign bank

HSBC features 2nd on our list of top International Banks in India. It has been operating in India for more than a century. This bank gets its abbreviated name from Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation.

HSBC traces its roots in India to 1853, with the establishment of the Mercantile Bank of India, which soon opened offices in London, Colombo, Hong Kong, Canton, Shanghai, Kandy and Singapore among other cities.

In 1959, the Mercantile Bank was bought by Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, which was also a reputed bank of Asia and founded in 1856.

Consequently, Mercantile Bank in India soon began operations under the new corporate identity, HSBC.

In India, HSBC has a formidable presence. It is a bank of choice among the large Indian diaspora working in the Middle East where HSBC offers customised savings and wealth management products for India.

In the domestic market too, HSBC Bank is known for services that meet international standards and caters to the banking and financial needs of individuals and corporate clients.

HSBC Bank was the first to introduce ATM to India, in 1987, at a time when such a facility could only be imagined.

3. Deutsche Bank


Deutsche Bank

Banking services of the highest possible standards in the world are available from Germany’s premier lender, Deutsche Bank.

It is a highly respected international bank in India and is a preferred banker for individuals and businesses.

Deutsche Bank opened the first branch in Mumbai in 1980, marking its arrival in this country.

According to the Deutsche Bank website, it employs 11,000 in the country and has a network of state-of-the-art branches in 16 cities.

In India, Deutsche Bank has an impressive clients list that consists of high net-worth individuals and large companies.

Deutsche Bank also plays a vital role in India’s industry by arranging finance and other high-value monetary transactions either solely or in collaboration with Indian and foreign banks.

Also Read: Top 20 Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) in India

4. Standard Chartered Bank

standard chartered bank

Standard Chartered Bank is fondly called StanChart within banking and consumer circles. It is among the oldest foreign banks in India, having begun operations here since 1858.

StanChart has headquarters in London. It is the only international bank in India that has the highest number of branches- over 100- operating in some 43 cities across the country.

Standard Chartered Bank offers a wide range of services in India.  These include Corporate and Institutional Banking, Commercial and Private Banking as well as Retail Banking.

Standard Chartered also has various subsidiaries operating in India: Standard Chartered Securities (India) Limited, Standard Chartered Private Equity Advisory (India) Pvt. Limited, Standard Chartered Investments and Loans (India) Limited, Standard Chartered Finance Limited and Standard Chartered Global Business Services Private Limited.

The bank employs over 86,000 employees and has a presence in some 60 markets worldwide. It is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange too.

For several years, the bank was the primary sponsor of Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, a prestigious sports event and fundraiser.

5. DBS Bank

dbs bank

DBS Bank was formerly known as Development Bank of Singapore. It is a multinational bank in India from Singapore that is consolidating its presence since

DBS Bank operates a network of 12 branches in India.

The bank’s India operations are headquartered in Mumbai. It has branches in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Cuddalore, Kolhapur, Kolkata, Moradabad, Nashik, New Delhi, Pune, Salem and Surat.

Future expansion is expected to cover cities including Ahmedabad, Kochi and Amritsar, among others, according to unconfirmed reports.

For customers in India, DBS bank offers the full range of banking services both online and through its brick-and-mortar branches.

It maintains an extensive network of ATMs in all megacities. DBS Bank describes itself as the frontrunner in the digital transformation that strives to deliver simple, seamless and invisible banking through digital channels.

Hence it adopts the catchphrase “Live More- Bank Less,” implying that DBS customers need not waste time visiting a branch and instead can utilise it for other essential things in life.

Also Read: 13 Key Difference Between NBFC and Banks That You Should Know

6. ANZ Group

ANZ Group bank

Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Banking Group have been present in India since decades but under different names.

ANZ Group first entered India after acquiring the historical British lender, Grindlays Bank plc in the mid-1980s.

However, ANZ Group exited India after selling its stake in Grindlays Bank to Standard Chartered Bank in 2000 for US$1.34billion.

With India fast becoming a destination for foreign investors, ANZ Group decided to return to this country, opening its first branch in Mumbai in 2011.

ANZ Group does not cater to individual or retail customers. Instead, is services are more oriented towards the corporate sector and foreign investors setting business ventures in India.

ANZ India offers a full range of institutional banking services including Indian Rupee and foreign currency services, working capital and term financing, transaction banking, foreign exchange and interest rate solutions, deposits and advisory services, says the bank’s website.

7. Bank of Nova Scotia


Bank of Nova Scotia

Bank of Nova Scotia, also called Scotiabank, is one of the famous international banks in India which are headquartered in Canada.

It was founded in Halifax, Canada in 1832 and now has headquarters in Toronto. Scotiabank has a good presence in India.

It operates branches in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore. Through our branch network, Scotiabank offers a broad range of corporate, commercial, trade and correspondent banking services as well as a limited selection of retail banking products.

Main business areas of Scotiabank in India include global transaction banking, corporate and institutional banking and business banking.

Its clients consist of large business houses and organisations that require a reliable foreign bank to manage transactions and finances.

Scotiabank does not accept deposits from resident Indians or NRIs at branches in India.

Its services are mainly for business organisations and financial institutions. Scotiabank is present in India since the last several decades.

8. Barclays plc.

Barclays plc.

Barclays is one of the oldest banks in the world and has a rich history spanning nearly 330 years: it was founded in 1690.

This bank began India operations in 1990. Barclays bank offers the full range of banking services in India.

These include corporate banking, investment banking and personal banking.

Barclays bank website says it is the largest UK-based employer in India with a strength of 23,000 staff across India working in its banking, technology and shared services operations.

The website says, Barclays has been a Top-5 arranger of domestic debt since 2010 and a Top-3 arranger of foreign bonds in 2012. The M&A advisory business ranked at No. 4 in 2012.

Barclays says, it has invested over US$800million capital it has investment banking operations in India, which is among the most significant capital commitments by any foreign bank for this country.

Barclays was voted the Best Private Bank in India by ‘The Asset’ magazine for three years in a row, it adds.

9. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank is a major player in India’s finance industry, primarily due to close bilateral relations between this country and the United Arab Emirates.

ADCB has been operating in India for over 30 years. The bank has adapted its service offerings in India in line with the needs and demands of the local market.

It is one of the most reliable foreign banks in India for opening a savings or current account and availing other financial services.

ADCB India offers a range of accounts for unique banking needs. Bank customers can avail Internet banking and other services that save time and effort.

Once you open an account with ADCB, all transactions can be performed online.

Further, the bank has excellent products for the corporate sector, especially companies that have trade with countries in the Middle East region.

The bank has a good presence in the Middle East and hence plays a significant role in business transactions between Indian companies and their foreign trade partners.

10. Doha Bank

doha bank

Doha Bank is a leading private sector foreign bank in India from Qatar. It has branches in Mumbai, Chennai and Kochi from where individuals including resident Indians and NRIs can avail a wide range of banking services.

Doha Bank traced its history to 1979 when it was established in the eponymous capital of Qatar.

Over the years, Doha Bank emerged as a favourite among the large Indian diaspora living in this oil and a natural gas-rich Arab state.

In India, the bank provides domestic and international banking services for individuals, commercial, corporate and institutional clients.

Doha Bank renders these services through four business groups: Wholesale Banking, Retail Banking, International Banking and Treasury & Investments.

In addition to India, this bank also operates in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Hence, it can offer a broad spectrum of services for companies with trade ties to these countries.

What Does This Mean?

Other than 45 foreign banks in India along with branches, the country hosts representative offices of over 60 banks from various countries including US, Canada, Russia, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, China, South Korea, Thailand, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Nepal, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to name a few.

As the Indian economy surges, more major foreign banks are expected to open branches in India. This augurs well for individual retail and corporate clients.

Indian banks will be forced to upgrade their services to offer any credible competition to their foreign counterparts.

Public sector banks in India are losing heavily to private lenders due to the quality of service.

Any major influx of foreign banks would imply every Indian bank has to upgrade its systems and services to match international standards.

In Conclusion

The presence of representative offices of over 60 foreign banks and 45 others offering a wide range of banking services to ordinary Indians aptly indicates the importance of the Indian economy on the world stage.

India is a booming market for any bank that offers excellent services. In future, we can expect these top 10 foreign banks in India to consolidate its operations while more new players will arrive in this country.

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