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UK mortgages to be offered by Indian Bank in 2011

The State Bank of India's UK division is to venture into Britain's lucrative mortgage market within the next six months, and will be the first Indian bank to do so.

The State Bank is already India's largest and a recognised name in the UK savings market. But it hopes the introduction of mortgages will create a more complete service on British shores for both Indian and non-Indian customers.

Rajnish Kumar, chief executive of State Bank of India UK, said: 'In the next six months we'll be going into the UK mortgage market - I believe we're the first Indian bank to do this. The opportunity is now there because the market has opened up to smaller players since the financial crisis.

'Three years ago nobody talked about loan-to-value or capital requirements or prudence. I could not have offered mortgages on 'interest-only' terms or at 110% – it didn't fit with our business model, which is why our bank has lasted for 200 years.

'But going forward it will be a more prudent market, which we can play a part in.'

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