New Delhi: BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered are among the seven foreign banks which have been given approval to open new branches in the country in 2012 till mid-August, the government said Wednesday.
The other four which were also given approval are -- Morgan Stanley Bank International, Westpac Banking Corporation, Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait and State Bank of Mauritius.
In 2011, as many as 10 foreign banks were given permission to open branches in India, while the number stood at six in the year before that.
Providing this information in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said under the WTO, India is committed to allow foreign banks to open 12 branches in a year.
"RBI may, however, go beyond the WTO commitments of 12 branch licenses, if the foreign banks open offices in unbanked\under-banked areas," he added.
Standard Chartered Bank and State Bank of Mauritius have been given approval to open branches in under-banked areas.
Morgan Stanley, Westpac Banking Corporation and BNP Paribas received permissions for opening branches in Mumbai.
The approval to Societe Generale and Bank of Bahrain and Kuwati is to open branches at Sanand and Aluva, respectively.