Axis Bank is the new entrant from India to the UK banking sector. It has started its UK operation in April 2013. The Bank offers a range of financial services, loans to Large and Mid-Corporates, Buy to Let Mortgages to Professional landlords, Retail Deposits, and Remittances to India. Axis Bank UK Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Axis Bank Ltd, India’s third largest private sector bank. The bank has managed to create a niche for itself in the crowded market with a meticulous strategy. Punekar Mr Rajendra Adsul, MD and CEO of Axis Bank UK Ltd. and his team will be entering the fourth year of operations with several credits in bag. Asian Lite’s Editor Azeez Anasudhin meets the soft spoken banker Mr Adsul at the Bank’s HQ in London
Azeez: How significant is London operations to you?
RA: Axis Bank’s operation in London may not be significantly large today but is very strategic and important in the overall scheme of things. Axis Bank, head quatered in India made an international debut in 2006 with its first office in Singapore. The geographical expansion was extended to other geographies by opening branches in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Colombo, DIFC(Dubai) and Representative offices at Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Axis Bank has recently set up one more Representative Office in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Having set up a base in most of the important geographies in the Asian continent, Axis Bank stepped into United Kingdom by setting up a Wholly Owned Banking Subsidiary – Axis Bank UK Ltd in 2011. The subsidiary received an approval from the Prudential Regulatory Authority to commence banking business in April 2013. The London operations therefore commenced in April 2013 and have grown into modest size and have been profitable from year one. I am extremely satisfied with the achievements of Axis UK over the past three years .
Azeez: How is the competition in the market?
RA: Competition is intense in the market and is always welcome as it leads to innovation in offerings which is good for the customers. In the competitive market, we have to identify our strengths and competencies and build on it to create a sustainable value.
Azeez: Indian banks are complaining about the PRA(Prudential Regulation Authority) and FCA(Financial Conduct Authority) regulations. Can you comment on – these regulations which are quite tough when compared to India and other places?
RA: The value system in Axis Group is very strong and this reflects in our culture. The Group strongly believes in being compliant in all actions what we do and therefore regulations become the rule engine. The regulations are good from systemic stand point and hence good for everyone.
Azeez: what is your comment on the Indian community in the UK and Bank’s offerings?
RA: I find the Indian community in Britain is progressive, responsive, and the businesses have been built on sound ethical values. I am really impressed with the way they have created a respectablename for the Indian community in the market.
Azeez: What are Bank’s offerings for UK customers?
RA: We are a new bank with several sophisticated products and services. Our customer segments are quite broad covering the Corporate, Retail and NRI segments. We do not solicit any direct business to NRIs but facilitate the whole process for them and Axis India .
Our Buy to Let Mortgage products are gaining popularity in the market. The other two products that we have launched are the online deposit scheme and the ”AxisRemit UK” Remittance App. We are making extensive use of technology in our offerings, thus creating an experience of convenience to our customers.
Online deposit is an end to end online deposit platform where customer is not required to visit the branch,. The customer can apply online and get the deposit receipt within 24 hours. Axis Bank UK Ltd. is the first Indian Bank in the UK to provide standalone remittance App “AxisRemit UK”, a mobile App of its kind for transferring funds to India. This will enable NRIs to remit funds on the go without the need to have an account with the Bank.So there is no need for customer to come to the branch. He just needs to have his any UK bank debit card registered on the App. Through this service, customer can instantly send money to Axis Bank India account, whereas for credit other Banks, it happens within 24 hours at confirmed exchange rate. More information can be obtained from www.axisbankuk.co.uk.
Besides this, we have corporate banking and we facilitate NRI banking. The variance is different as far as NRI accounts are concerned when compared to other banks. We have NRI Burgundy, NRI Priority with specific benefits. More information can be obtained from www.axisbank.com.