State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, and its associates plan to set up by-invitation-only’ branches under the Kohinoor’ brand in 20 cities to serve uber-rich clients and non-resident Indians (NRIs).
These branches will remain open 24X7 and have facilities like lounges, conference rooms, personal business centres and cafeterias. The branches will offer all the banking products and services of SBI and its subsidiaries.
While private and foreign banks have opened similar branches for their super-rich clients, none of their branches are by-invitation-only. “It’s a new concept for us as public sector banks have not been present in this space. SBI opened the first such branch in Hyderabad and it has been a success. There are plans to open similar branches across 20 cities,” a senior executive from the State Bank group told Business Standard, requesting anonymity.
In 2010, SBI had opened the first by-invitation-only branch — Kohinoor Banjara — in Hyderabad. Its subsidiary, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur has recently opened a similar branch — Kohinoor Royale — in Jaipur. Shiva Kumar, managing director of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, said his bank was looking to open more such branches, but declined to comment on State Bank group’s plans. Kumar was the chief general manager at SBI when it opened the Kohinoor Banjara branch.
State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur spent Rs 2 crore to set up Kohinoor Royale. The luxury branch currently has 40 customers, each of whom has been assigned a personal banker. Clients can either visit the branch or interact with staff over video chat for their banking needs.
While officially there is no minimum deposit requirement, the bank expects customers to have at least Rs 1 crore of deposits in the branch. “The idea is to have a rich clientele and serve them in the best possible way. A customer can call even past midnight and we will be there to serve,” Kumar said.
The branch, which has 14 employees, houses a plush lounge named Deewane Khaas, consisting of Rajkosh (the locker facility), Shringar (a dressing room), and Darbar (a conference room with video conference facility).
The bank is also training its staff on wealth management products, which it plans to introduce soon.