ICICI looks overseas with UK Internet bank launch

ICICI looks overseas with UK Internet bank launch

ICICI Bank, India's largest private bank, is launching an online account in the UK offering customers a 5.4% rate on savings.

The bank's new HiSave account is opened and operated via the Internet and has no restrictions on how much money can be deposited or withdrawn.

The HiSave accounts will be processed at the bank's low-cost operations in Bangalore.

Sonjoy Chaterjee, UK chief executive at ICICI Bank told BBC Radio 4's Money Box programme the Internet account would offer "a good rate" for two and half years, but he could not guarantee it would stay at 5.4%.

Chaterjee says ICICI Bank is looking to take the first steps towards being a global financial institution and the HiSave account is its first mainstream product. The bank has set a target of winning £500 million savings from UK customers this year.

The bank claims to have 10 million Internet customers around the world.

Earlier this year the bank said it was teaming with British bank LLoyds TSB to launch an "Indian banking service" which provides UK customers with free money transfers between UK and India, as well as access to a Rupee mortgage for Indian property purchases.

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