Tailored Bank products to appease you
Auckland February 6: It may be too early and presumptuous to predict but if the statements made by Bank of Baroda (BOB) Chairman & Managing Director Mangalore Devadas Mallya at more than one gathering on February 4 was any indication, then New Zealanders can expect a bank with a difference
“While the first branch of the Bank based (at 114 Dominion Road) in Auckland will offer all banking products and services, we are keen to ensure that these meet the local conditions and requirements. For instance, we would like to offer mortgage loans that are convenient and comfortable to our customers and products that help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) grow,” he said.
The parent company, based in Mumbai, India, operates through its wholly owned Subsidiary, Bank of Baroda (NZ) Limited with a board comprising four Directors including Mr Mallya, Subsidiary Managing Director Satish Vermani and Dr Rajen Prasad and Vijaya Vaidyanath.
Products for Kiwis
Applications for facilities including mortgage loans, especially by customers of the bank with overseas assets in countries where BOB has its offices and branches may have an additional advantage if the Auckland branch accepts those assets as collateral.
We understand that a new product and process would be required to satisfy the legal and statutory requirements and would be developed in due course.
Similarly, trade finance could become an important aspect of banking for the Bank in New Zealand, if the service is provided with speed and without rigid and cumbersome procedures.
“Our entry into New Zealand took considerable time since we had to comply with the legal, financial and other criteria set by BOB and the monetary authorities in both countries. With an established presence now, we should look at the possibility of developing products and services specific to New Zealand customers,” Mr Mallya said.
Four Nation tie
He said the Bank’s presence in Fiji since 1962 (it will mark its Golden Jubilee next year), with eight branches, the new branch in New Zealand and the proposed conversion of its Representative Office in Sydney, Australia, will give BOB a unique advantage to serve customers in the three countries and connect them to India and other overseas branches and offices.
New Zealand businesses keen on establishing their offices or appointing representatives, agents and distributors in India can now expect ‘on-the-ground support’ from BOB’s extensive branch network, expected to reach 3500 by the end of this year and 4000 by the end of 2012.
“As well as serving the Indian Diaspora, BOB will look after the interests of all New Zealanders as we are here to serve everyone with a customer focus. Our plans are in the long-term interests of customers,” Mr Mallya said.
The prospect of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), negotiations for which are now underway between the two countries, would also encourage New Zealand businesses to step up their contacts and activities with India.
However, inadequate information and interaction, the general apathy of Indian businesses towards a small market like New Zealand and absence of a financial institution to offer services have thus far curtailed growth of trade and commerce between the two countries. The two-way trade between New Zealand and India, stated to be around $1 billion is hardly worth mentioning, given the immense and unutilised and underutilised potential. In contrast, the two-way trade between New Zealand and China has crossed $10 billion, although often attributed to the FTA signed by the two Governments in 2008.
BOB could be a catalyst in promoting not only bilateral trade but also people-to-people contacts and business deals.
Directors Dr Rajen Prasad and Vijaya Vaidyanath were also of the view that products that address the needs of New Zealand customers would enable BOB to register impressive growth in the coming years.
Read Indian flavour to New Zealand banking in this section.