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Federal Bank Forays into Wealth Management to Serve its Huge NRI Clientele
Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008

Kerala based Federal Bank, with its Rs 48,000-crore business, is looking to enter the wealth management space, especially for catering to its huge NRI clientele.. The bank has a good four lakh NRI customers. This base, according to bank's chairman and CEO M Venugopalan, throws up a solid business opportunity for the bank. Mr Venugopalan expects to firm up this plan in the next three months. The banks overall customer base is nearly 50 lakh.

Wealth management means advanced investment advisory, including offering financial planning and tailor-made financial services in retail banking, estate planning, taxation, among others. These services are typically being offered to high net worth individuals (HNIs). The bank chairman has ruled out the possibility of entering into the asset management space directly. "This is not the right time to think over a foray into asset management business," he said. However, Mr Venugopalan has indicated that BCG was also asked to weigh potential for a non-life insurance venture. Federal Bank, along with IDBI Bank and Fortis, has already started selling risk covers in the life insurance space.

"BCG will prepare a five-year business transformation road map for the bank. It will advise us on expansion and geographic spread, explore niche areas for business and overall strategy. The consultant will submit its report in the next six months," the top banker said. Regarding talks of a Federal Bank-Catholic Syrian Bank merger, he said: "Nothing is on cards at this point in time. In general, we are open to mergers."

 

 

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