Indian Banking Reforms: A Changing Landscape for State-Owned and Foreign Banks


Susan Chan

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May 31, 2005

In the past few months, the Indian government announced a series of banking reforms that were designed to give state-controlled banks greater autonomy and to provide guidelines for foreign bank expansion. To the disappointment of many analysts, the measures did not materially change how foreign banks can operate. Significant restrictions on foreign banks remain and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) retains wide discretionary power over the timing and implementation of reforms. This Asia Focus report explores whether the reforms will allow foreign banks to become full market participants.