The State Bank of India (SBI) is owned by the Indian government and serves as the largest banking and financial services facility in India. Its headquarters are in Mumbai and has over 16,000 branches across India. In other words, it’s huge. But is it the best option for your banking needs? Let’s take a look.
State Bank of India – UK Branches
If you live in London, Southall, Golders Green, Manchester, Leicester or Birmingham, then there is an SBI branch near you! This means you can do all of your transactions physically, just like you would with a local bank. Contact details for these branches can be found here: http://www.sbiuk.com/footer/top-footer/contact-us#collapse7
If you live in the UK, but not near these areas, then there’s always the online transaction option. You just log in using your account information and conduct transactions in a similar way to your domestic online banking system. With this feature, you can do standard things like transfer between your own bank accounts, pay bills and make payments to other banks.
State Bank of India Interest Rates – How They Compare
The SBI currently offers around 1.25% as an effective annual interest rate on a basic savings account. To compare, Barclays offers around 1.2-1.5% interest per annum. This is only a small difference, but as the interest is compounding (earning interest on the interest), this can multiply over time. Overall, the SBI offers a reasonable, but not optimal rate of return on savings.
Comparatively, many overseas banks offer a much greater rate – ANZ (New Zealand) offers 4.25% per annum on savings for instance, while the Commonwealth Bank of Australia offers 3.20% per annum. These interest rates involve a little more risk – as you have to invest in foreign currency (NZD or AUD), but you’ll get a noticeably higher return.
The State Bank of India’s Exchange Rates Compared
As of today, SBI offers a GBP/INR exchange rate of 93.10 rupees per pound, while OrbitRemit offers an exchange rate of 93.52. WesternUnion, as a third comparison, offers a rate of 93.46. This means that you get slightly more rupees for your pounds through OrbitRemit than other providers.
SBI charges a GBP £5 – 20 fee for most currency transfers (outside of India), while OrbitRemit charges only around GBP £2. Transfer time for both systems is about the same, at 1 – 2 days for an international transaction.
The SBI offers free remittance to India, however their fees are hidden in less favourable exchange rates and relatively low interest rates on savings. You’re also expected to commit to using the SBI for your normal banking needs – forcing you to accumulate a lower rate of interest on your savings.
OrbitRemit offers a loyalty system, rather than requiring a commitment. We offer free transfers for every tenth transaction you complete with us. SBI offers no such loyalty system.
Try out our calculator on the right hand side of the screen to get started!