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SBI Life to tap NRIs via SBI's foreign branches

January 14, 2003 14:12 IST

SBI Life Insurance is in the process of seeking permission from foreign regulators to sell its products to Non-Resident Indians through the overseas branches of the State Bank of India.

"We have asked SBI's overseas branches to seek necessary approvals, wherever required, to sell our products to NRIs," SBI Life MD R. Krishnamurthy said on Tuesday.

The move assumes significance as SBI and other PSU banks have a total of 93 overseas branches and 17 representative offices, which can be used to tap 20 million NRIs spread over 50 countries.

Indian insurance companies currently can sell policies to NRIs either directly by paying the premium in forex or through the Internet as per the new guidelines of IRDA.

Krishnamurthy said SBI Life would come up with pension products and a group insurance scheme for small-scale industries by February -- taking its product range to 12 by the end of the current fiscal.

SBI Life, the 74:26 joint venture between SBI and Cardif, has sold 325,000 policies for a premium income of Rs 57 crore (Rs 570 million) till November.

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