HSBC is set to relaunch its India private banking business within a year, reported Reuters citing HSBC India CEO Hitendra Dave.

The London-headquartered bank pulled the plug on its private banking operations in India in 2015 after a strategic review of its global private banking operations.

The latest move comes as the bank considers the country as a key strategic market for growth across Asia.  

Dave told the news agency in an interview: “We can see the amount of wealth creation in India and the growth in the number of millionaires … so an in-principle decision has been made to re-introduce private banking in India.

“We are running through the process of internal approvals and it may take anywhere from six to 12 months and will include a full suite of private banking products.”

India’s private banking sector is said to have very few foreign players in a segment catering to high-net-worth (HNW) individuals.

HSBC currently serves its wealthy Indian clients from its global offices in London, Singapore, and the Middle East.

According to Dave, the bank is also seeking to increase its Indian customer base by fourfold across various business segments over the next three to five years.

The bank expects to take advantage of the shrinking presence of foreign rivals and burgeoning wealth in the country.

He said: “Over the years the group has invested $4.5bn into the country. In the last few years we have managed to grow without needing extra capital and that may continue in the foreseeable future also.”

Last year, HSBC agreed to buy the mutual fund arm of India’s L&T Finance for $425m. It is also planning to beef up its holdings in the insurance joint venture.

“HSBC has identified India as one of its top strategic market and we have a huge potential for organic growth but we may also look at inorganic growth if an opportunity arises,” Dave added.