India's largest bank has opened a branch in Birmingham - boosting the city's status as a world-class location for international financial services.
The State Bank of India (SBI) branch on the Soho Road, in Handsworth, is at the heart of one of the city's thriving Indian business communities.
SBI's move to Birmingham was supported by inward investment specialists at Advantage West Midlands and Locate in Birmingham, who provided advice and guidance and access to appropriate business support.
The new branch, which employs four people, is part of an expansion programme which has seen branches open in Manchester and Leicester already this year to add to the three it operates in London.
The Soho Road branch will offer a range of services for both personal banking and corporate finance.
Richard Butler, head of inward investment at AWM, said: "The West Midlands is a dynamic and cosmopolitan region with a thriving and diverse and economy and a long tradition of trading internationally.
"The welcome arrival of the State Bank of India is a superb example of the leading global companies setting up in the region."
Mike Loftus, of Locate in Birmingham, said: "It is great to see the long-established links between Birmingham and the sub-continent being sealed in such a practical and positive way."
The SBI Group has a vast network of more than 13,800 branches in India and 70 overseas offices in 30 countries.
It is India's largest banking group with global assets of over £78 billion, net profits of £700 million and holds a 25 per cent market share of banking in India.
Retail operations serve over 100 million customers.
Mrs Sudha Malhotra, State Bank of India's chief manager for the UK, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be opening our branch in Birmingham.
"This marks a new milestone in the steadily increasing India-UK business relations, both for us and the city of Birmingham.
"We at SBI are very well positioned to carry this momentum forward. We bring to Birmingham our established strengths in trade finance, retail and corporate services as well as our traditional values of fine and transparent rates.
"Our team here is from Birmingham and understand the business requirements of the city well. We will leverage this local knowledge with our international capability to provide a world-class banking service to our customers." ..SUPL: