Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Dr Alan Bollard gave a clean chit to the Indian banking system saying that commercial banks in India were well regulated and showed resilience, similar to their New Zealand counterparts.
“The Indian banking system is strong and responsive, complimenting the country’s economic growth. The Reserve Bank of India has established robust systems and procedures that have proved to be effective,” he said, inaugurating Bank of India (NZ) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of India and its first New Zealand branch in Auckland on October 6.
He said many New Zealand banks depend on India for their back office support systems and that the link was getting stronger.
“New Zealand has stringent conditions and welcomes banks of good standing and good rating. We are happy that the recent recession and global financial crisis tested the ability of our banks to remain focused and be successful.
“Our banks have adopted strategies and plans that have strengthened our financial status, thereby contributing to the success of New Zealand’s banking sector,” he said.
He said New Zealand’s banking system was small (Bank of India is the 20th banking institution in the country) but highly sophisticated.
India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Admiral Sureesh Mehta agreed, saying that institutions like Bank of India served to establish ‘Brand India.’
He described the opening of Bank of India branch in New Zealand as the fulfilment of of one his dreams.
“The strength of the Indian economy in general and that of its banking system in particular was proved beyond doubt in the recent crisis. Indian banks have emerged unscathed from the global financial crisis,” he said.
New Zealand and India had immense potential for engagement in a number of economic and social sectors.
“The relationship between New Zealand and India is of strategic importance and will deliver mutual benefits. New Zealand’ entrepreneurial ability can be iof mmense benefit to Indian companies,” Mr Mehta said.
He said New Zealand should move towards Merchant Banking.
Bank of India’s Mumbai based Chairman & Managing Director Alok Kumar Mishra said that his bank was well positioned to serve the interests of both countries and customers.
National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, senior officials of major banks, investors, entrepreneurs and others attended the inaugural ceremony and the dinner hosted by Mr Mishra at Stamford Plaza Hotel in the evening.
Read related story under Businesslink in this issue.
The Picture here (by Bhavnesh Soni) shows Reserve Bank of India Governor Dr Alan Bollard inaugurating the first branch of Bank of India in Epsom Auckland on October 6, 2011, watched by Bank of India Chairman & Managing Director Alok Kumar Mishra (right), Indian High Commissioner Admiral Sureesh Mehta (centre), National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (behind) and Bank of India (NZ) Limited Managing Director Paladugu Nageshwar Rao.