The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has had preliminary discussions with the Reserve Bank of India about acquiring a stake in a local bank and tapping into the booming Indian economy and skilled IT workforce.
Speaking at a business meeting in New Delhi, David Murray, CBA's chief executive, said the bank has met with central bank officials and put together a team to explore strategic acquisition options.
Under new Indian retail banking reforms, foreign banks are now allowed to buy controlling stakes in failing local banks or set up wholly-owned branches.
According to a report in the FT, an un-named executive from a local private bank said CBA was eyeing a small branch network in Bangalore to try and tap IT professionals.
The paper reports Murray as saying that CBA would consider applying outsourced IT services from India to its domestic operations in Australia.