Deutsche Bank has launched a web-based platform enabling easier access to invest in India, a move that could significantly boost foreign investor activity in the country.
The launch of the AccessIndia platform aims to automate digital market entry to expedite licensing for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). It is designed to help foreign investors, such as asset managers and insurance companies, to set up new investment vehicles in India.
Deutsche Bank stated global custodians will benefit from the platform by gaining efficiencies in the FPI licensing process, such as documentation, due diligence and workflow management.
“As a leading custodian in India, Deutsche Bank has fittingly taken the lead in the digitalisation of pre-investment compliance for FPIs around licensing and account set-ups,” said Sriram Krishnan, head of securities services, India, Deutsche Bank.
During the pilot phase, AccessIndia was used for live FPI applications by a few foreign institutions, including Swiss private bank Banque Pictet, as well as several other large clients.
Ambitions to grow the size of India’s economy from $2.7-$5 trillion by 2024-25 spells significant opportunity for the country’s custodians.
With around $1.2 trillion of assets held in custody by local and agent banks, that is expected to almost double within the next four to five years, of which assets under custody from PFIs are projected to grow from $400-500 billion to $800-900 billion.
Foreign sentiment to invest in India has grown significantly over the years, as lawmakers and financial regulators continue to implement policies to ease access for FPIs.
These include improving India’s market infrastructures to meet international standards and provide a wider range of services, introducing interoperability with clearing houses to simplify settlement, refining KYC requirements, and making the onboarding process easier.
“It is heartening to note that Deutsche Bank has launched the AccessIndia portal which may seamlessly integrate with the NSDL portal to make it a great experience for FPIs,” added G V Nageswara Rao, CEO, National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL).