DBS India is looking to build its loan book of Indian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by partnering with nonbanking financial companies (NBFCs) to provide letters of credit (L/Cs) and other international trade finance offerings that NBFCs cannot provide.

The Indian arm of Singapore-headquartered DBS Bank hopes its offerings will expand its current Indian SME loan book of approximately US$600 million to US$1 billion by the end of December 2025, managing director and head of global transaction services, Divyesh Dalal, told the Hundu Businessline portal.

Beyond NBFC offerings

Dalal says that DBS India's SME book has been growing at a rate of 40 per cent per annum over the last three years.

The bank currently partners with NBFCs for co-lending initiatives. "Through these partnerships, our aim is not only to expand our customer base but also to provide banking products that are beyond the offerings of NBFCs, such as L/Cs, bank guarantees, and cross-border forex solutions," Dalal said.

Indian ambitions

"SME is pivotal to our growth in India", according to Dalal who says he is confident the bank's SME loan book will continue to grow at least at its current rate and suggests it could increase by as much as 50-60 per cent a year.

A central plank of DBS' Indian strategy was the acquisition in 2020 of Lakshmi Vilas Bank, an Indian private sector bank with more than 500 branches.

Dalal says DBS India's strategy also includes an emphasis on technology and scouting for new partnerships to acquire customers and data to develop its supply chain finance book.

The Hundu Businessline article, DBS Bank India targets $1 billion SME loan book by December 2025, can be found here.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.