(Mar 6): DBS Group Holdings aims to bolster loans to Indian consumers and small businesses as part of a plan to reduce its reliance on Singapore.

Southeast Asia’s biggest bank will push credit through its new wholly owned unit in India, Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta said in an interview in Mumbai, where the bank is beefing up both its brick-and-mortar branches and its digital presence to tap the world’s second-most populated nation. Retail accounts for about 1/10th of DBS loans in the nation.

“The reality is that for most foreign banks, trying to build retail and small and medium businesses outside their home market has been a poisoned chalice,” Gupta said on Monday. “We are making this bet on India as we believe discontinuity caused by digital channels offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of skinning this cat differently.”

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