The Indian media are reporting that the state-owned Bank of Baroda is closing its TT and Ghanaian subsidiaries, as part of a strategy to “rationalise international operations.”
The Indian financial news outlet LiveMint reported that this would be the first time any Indian state-owned bank had tried to sell its international units. Total business between the Ghana and TT operations is estimated to be less than US$150 million.
Newsday called the bank’s Port of Spain office but was told by the person who answered (he declined to give his name) that they had not received any such information or directive from head office in India.
Bank of Baroda (Ghana) Ltd and Bank of Baroda (TT) Ltd run three retail branches each. The TT branches are in San Fernando, Port of Spain and Chaguanas. In March, the Chaguanas branch was robbed of $500,000.
“Some of these subsidiaries are not performing as per expectation. Hence, we decided to exit,” LiveMint reported a BoB banker as saying, adding that TT and Ghana are not core to the bank’s business.
Earlier this year, Bank of Baroda closed its Bahrain branch, and is currently closing its Bahamas branch. It also had to shut down South African operations after loans it made to three Indian-origin businessmen came under scrutiny after the men were implicated in allegations of money laundering.
Newsday contacted the bank and the Bankers’ Association (BATT) for comment but did not get a response.