Chandigarh, Jun 19 : Punjab National Bank today said the predominant presence of the Punjabi community is one of the key factors behind its success story in the United Kingdom, even as the bank is now eyeing its foray into other EU nations, Canada and Australia.
Focusing on retail and operating through its subsidiary, Punjab National Bank (International) now has seven branches in UK that are mostly operating in areas dominated by the Punjabi community including at Southhall, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
“In a span of four years, we have 30,000 Indian accounts (mostly of those from Punjabi community) in these seven branches. Even the British High Commission has showcased it as a success story,” PNB Chairman and Managing Director K R Kamath told reporters here today.
He said PNB International will take care of the bank's entire operations in Europe, as the bank is now eyeing its presence in other European nations over the next two years.
“We try to go to untreaded path and explore new avenues,” he said.
About presence of the Punjabi community in numbers in UK, Kamath gave an example of Wolverhampton, where he recently paid a visit, saying the tiny place has 35 Gurudwaras.
Kamath said during the current year, the bank is looking for a total of USD 2 billion deposit and advances by the subsidiary.
With presence in nine countries, he talked about few more expansions including opening up of a representation office in Australia and Canada, which also have good number of Punjabis settled there.
The bank is vigorously pursuing the case of upgrading its office in Norwegian capital Oslo into a full-fledged branch.
PNB, which has its roots in Pakistani City of Lahore, would also put its stake whenever in future the governments on both sides decide to open a branch there.
“As far as our bank having a branch in Lahore is concerned, it is subject to availability of licence. Being more of a political issue, it has to be decided by both the governments first...but I can say if climate for our bank going there in future is there, we will make our stake very strongly because our roots are there,” he said.
Kamath also spoke about the bank's success story in Nepal, where it turned a loss-making Everest Bank Ltd into a profit-making one after taking it over 13 years back.
“We hold a 30 per cent stake in the bank,” he said. PTI