French banking group BNP Paribas has closed its wealth management business in India citing strategic reasons.

The move is said to have been caused by the firm’s focus on corporate and institutional banking operations, reported PTI.

However, the banking ruled out the Covid-19 crisis as the reason behind the closure.

Confirming the news, a bank spokesperson noted: “BNP Paribas Wealth Management has decided to exit its onshore wealth management business in India in order to focus on areas where its global footprint and diversified business strengths allow it to provide clients with more value-added services.”

The concerned business employs nearly 60 people in India.

These employees can move to other businesses including Sharekhan, a BNP Paribas unit that serves HNWIs.

Affected staff can also move to the bank’s offices in Hong Kong or Singapore.

The spokesperson did not mention the unit’s client base.

The spokesperson said clients will be referred to Sharekhan in the future when required.

“We can confirm that a number of roles will be affected. As we are currently looking for redeployment opportunities within the Group, it would be inappropriate to comment further,” the spokesperson added.

BNP Paribas has been operating in India for 160 years and since 2012 has made investments of €800m in the country.

The bank commits to further growing its business in India.

Its overall staff headcount in the country is 13,000.

Notably, last year, BNP Paribas and Bank of Baroda agreed to merge their asset management businesses.

Meanwhile, last month, BNP Paribas launched securities services operations in Mexico.