Mumbai: British lender Barclays Plc Wednesday said it does not have any plans to operate as an wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS) in India, saying there are costs associated with it and the benefits which can accrue to an entity of its size do not make it a feasible model.
"At this point of time, there are no plans to subsidiarise. We continually think about it, but in the near term, there are no plans to subsidiarise," Barclays Chief Executive for India, Jaideep Khanna told reporters here.
Stating that there are costs involved in turning into a WOS, which Reserve Bank has been very vocally insisting all the foreign lenders to do, Khanna said Barclays small footprint in the country limits the benefits.
"The costs associated with it and the benefits, especially given our size and business model, do not make it feasible," he said.
Additionally, the lender does not have any plans to expand the retail business, he said.
Barclays is well capitalised at over 19 per cent capital adequacy for its Rs 30,000-crore book and its small size does not pose any systemic threat which shall make the case for subsidiarisation stronger, Khanna.
It can be noted that RBI has been pushing all the 87 foreign lenders present in India to operate as WOS, so that there is no spillover effect of global events on the country.
Some, like Singapore's DBS Bank have already applied for turning into a WOS while the larger ones such as Citi, HSBC and Standard Chartered are yet to move on this front.
Khanna said the bank does not have any plans to expand its footprint either by expanding ts book or adding new product lines, saying the lender will restrict itself to the private banking and wholesale banking business, where it had seven branches as of December last.
Earlier this year, Barclays shut its equities business in the country as part of a global restructuring effort. The lender employs 15,000 people in the country, a bulk of them in back-office operations which support its global presence.
Calling India a "compelling opportunity" in a world of negative or low interest rates, Khanna said the bank will grow its business here only when it sees more growth in Asia's third largest economy.
He said the country will be easily able to tide over the FCNR (B) deposit redemptions and without facing any volatilities in the currency markets.
On intense debate surrounding RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan's term extension, he said the market would like him to continue but a change in guard at the central bank post September will not dent investor confidence in the country which rests on macroeconomic fundamentals.
"I share the belief that Rajan has been an excellent Governor, he is very thoughtful and mature, his term has seen many concrete developments. To say they (investors) will lose faith in the country because he is no longer there is a bit of stretch. Investors come to India because of the macroeconomic opportunity that India presents," Khanna added.