International banks are financial institutions that offer services and operate within all legal boundaries outside the home country. These banks offer their services to international customers and ease transferring money from one country to another. International banks in India must follow the laws of both the home country and the foreign country of its operations. Branches of international banks have the capacity to offer bigger loans to their customers. This is because they depend on the total bank capital in the country of operations.
When talking about international banks in India, the RBI policy is designed on two fundamental principles; they are single mode of presence and reciprocity. As of July 2020, India currently has 46 international banks that have attracted a massive inflow of FDIs (Foreign Direct Investments) that offer international banking services to Indians.
Importance of Account Opening in International Banks
Indians who are moving abroad as immigrants need to take a certain amount of cash with them. Usually, this amount is large, and it is illegal to carry so much cash by hand. Regulations on international air travel prevent travellers from carrying heavy sums of money when travelling internationally.
This is where international banks in India come in handy. Before travelling abroad, it is advised to open a bank account in one of these trusted banks. The best course of action is to open the account, deposit the large sum of money yourself, and get all the additional details you need when you reach your country of destination. This helps immigrants with money issues when they land in their new home country. Instead of having someone at home to wire money, immigrants can simply go to the international bank use their chequebooks and debit card to withdraw cash.
Moreover, opening a bank account in international banks in India gives confidence that their savings are secure before immigrants start their move. It is best to open a bank account while in India to ensure no security risks are involved.
When it comes to large sums of money, which are usually a fundamental requirement for moving abroad, there is a big security risk. Trusting someone from your family to send you the money once you have moved involves security risks and defrauding. The financial institution cannot always be trusted, and then there is the risk of a longer timeline.
Therefore, it is best to open your bank account and transfer all your savings into an international bank account while you are in India. This is the first step you need to take before kickstarting your move to a new country.
Let us now look at the list of international banks in India.
The International Banks of India
Although 46 international banks are operating in India, the following list contains the best ones for you to consider opening your bank account.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has declared CitiBank to be the best option for high-net-worth clients. CitiBank has achieved this title for the fifth time in a row, making it the best international bank in India. CitiBank India offers all banking services while being an onshore foreign bank with headquarters in Mumbai. Citibank is a subsidiary of Citigroup, which is a financial services business operating in New York City. The employees of CitiBank India are stationed in Mumbai, Chennai, and Gurugram. The bank recently announced its departure of consumer banking from several regions, including India. This decision was reached as part of its reorganization strategy in April 2021.
2. Standard Chartered Bank (SCB)
SCB offers impeccable international banking services to Indians. With headquarters in London, it operates in more than 70 countries across the world. SCB employs over 87,000 people and has a vast network of 1,200 brands. SCB came to India in 1858, where the first branch was established in Mumbai and Kolkata. With such a rich history and presence worldwide, this bank is a great choice for opening an international bank account before moving abroad.
3. HSBC Bank
HSBC bank has its headquarters in Mumbai and is a UK-based HSBC Holdings plc subsidiary. Under the Banking Regulation Act of 1949, HSBC has been deemed an international bank. HSBC is also the largest bank in Europe, with its headquarters in the UK. This should be your choice if you move to Europe as an immigrant. India alone has over 50 HSBC branches with a customer base of over one lakh people.
4. Deutsche Bank
Based in Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank AG is a global investment bank that offers financial services. It is listed both on the New York Stock Exchange and Frankfurt Stock Exchange. This international bank has a network stretching across 58 countries, including most of Europe, America, and Asia. India has over 18 branches, and the bank offers all basic financial services. Indians can also avail other wealth management services when opening a bank account in Deutsche Bank.
5. Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland has about ten branches in India, but it offers all-important services like corporate banking, foreign exchange, and insurance. This bank has a great reputation worldwide and over 700 branches in total, making it a huge network of thousands of international employees. The Royal Bank of Scotland was established in India in 1921, intending to offer all banking and financial services. However, starting in 2003, the Royal Bank of Scotland started its microfinance initiative to finance the underprivileged.
6. DBS Bank
DBS Bank Ltd is a Singaporean banking and financial service organization. With the headquarters located in Marina Bay, this is one of the best banks in the world. DBS Bank has a global status that makes it a top choice for most Indians to kickstart their move abroad. Moreover, DBS is ranked as number one in safety across Asia. Offering plenty of basic banking services to complicated financial services for corporations, DBS accommodates Indians with several NRI services.
7. Barclays Bank
Listed on the London Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange, Barclays Bank promises international services to all Indians. The Financial Stability Board, because of its outstanding performance throughout the years, declares the importance of this bank. Barclays is divided into two divisions, Barclays UK and Barclays International. India has about seven branches spread across the country, but the headquarters are in Mumbai.
8. Bank of America
The Bank of America is a corporation that offers several global investment and financial services. It is still considered one of the largest banks in the world. However, Bank of America only has five offices in India, but the clientele is quite large. This is a good choice for Indians planning to move to the United States. Opening a bank account in this bank will result in easy settlement in any state of the US.
Things to Keep in Mind before Opening a Bank Account
Similar to how any bank needs certain documents to open a bank account, international banks require the same. The bank account opening manager may ask for your identification documents like your national ID, driver’s license, or sometimes your passport.
Although many Indians believe that opening a bank account in an international bank requires a high minimum amount to be maintained in the account, this is not true. Like many other false statements, this is also a myth.
Keep in mind that when you open a bank account in international banks in India, you will have the option to open the account in foreign currency. This can save you great losses faced caused due to currency fluctuations. Since you are moving to another country, it is best to open a bank account in the currency of your destination country.
However, not all international banks offer all currencies. It is ideal to opt for a US dollar currency account. This way, you will be able to save your savings from potential currency fluctuations that are caused because of uncertain times.
With the expansion of the banking sector in India and international banks offering better and bigger services, the rise in white-collar crimes has drastically increased. This means that more and more Indians are being scammed when it comes to international banks in India.
You can do a few things to avoid fraud when opening a bank account in an international bank in India. They are:
- Be physically present during the account opening process.
- When submitting photocopies of ID documents, make sure to cross them and write the intended use on each copy.
- Always keep the PIN codes hidden from the bank employees and other potential fraudsters.
- Keep your personal information safe.
- Do not click on any links that come from unknown addresses.
- Do not divulge your personal information in case of an unknown phone call.
Stay alert and do not share all information about your move to another country unless absolutely necessary. For more information about how to avoid scammers when opening an international bank account, contact Moovaz. We guide, plan and help you move abroad.
Kickstarting your move to another country is certainly challenging. The first step is to secure your savings and finances so you can be confident in your new home. This also includes your medical insurance, which is important for you and your family members.
Opening accounts in any of these international banks in India is a great way to start your move to another country. You will have the satisfaction of having access to immediate finances as soon as you land. These international banks in India are a great way to start your immigration journey.
Feeling ready to make the big move?
Explore more destinations here