Citing an official at the International Department in Mumbai, Australia's BankingDay is reporting that the state owned Bank of India has applied to the Reserve Bank for a banking licence.
A Reserve Bank spokesman told interest.co.nz that the central bank doesn't comment on specific bank applicants or prospective ones.
BankingDay said Bank of India aimed to operate in New Zealand as a locally incorporated subsidiary rather than as a branch and hoped to obtain a licence within the next few months. The bank reportedly has no plans to set up in Australia.
The Reserve Bank has a range of criteria it considers when deciding whether to grant a banking licence or not. This includes the standing of the applicant in the financial markets, ie its reputation and track record, and the suitability for their positions of the directors and senior managers.
The Reserve Bank says it will process any application and make a decision "as soon as practicable" but the length of time it takes to process applications will vary, and the time taken with any specific application will depend on the complexity of that application.
Merger partners Marac Finance, the Canterbury Building Society and the Southern Cross Building Society also hope to apply for a banking licence, but not until next July.