French banking major BNP Paribas has decided to shut down its onshore wealth management business in India in order to focus on core businesses like corporate and institutional banking. The company, however, confirmed that the decision was not taken in wake of the current COVID-19 crisis.
"BNP Paribas Wealth Management has decided to exit its onshore wealth management business in India in order to focus on areas where its global footprint and diversified business strengths allow it to provide clients with more value-added services," a BNP Paribas spokesperson said.
The world's eighth largest bank by total assets, which has been in India for the last 10 years, continues to be focused on growing its operations in India and has invested over Euro 800 million in the country since 2012, the spokesperson said, adding it employs a total of 13,000 people in India. BNP Paribas Wealth Management India has assets under management (AUM) of USD 14.5 billion.
As per officials in the know, there are about 60 people working for the business in India and they have been given the option to either relocate to other businesses like its wholly owned brokerage subsidiary Sharekhan, which has products for the high networth individuals or join its offices in Hong Kong or Singapore.
"We can confirm that a number of roles will be affected. As we are currently looking for redeployment opportunities within the Group, it would be inappropriate to comment further," the spokesperson said.
Without specifying the number of clients the arm currently serves, the spokesperson said wealth management clients will be referred when appropriate to Sharekhan in the future. BNP Paribas is setting up an asset management joint venture with Bank of Baroda to distribute mutual funds in India and abroad, it said, adding Sharekhan is also foraying into the discount brokering category via new subsidiary company.
With PTI inputs