SBI NRI Services: All you need to know

Aman Saxena

The State Bank of India offers NRI banking services like accounts, loans, sending remittances, and even help with returning to India.

Learn more about these services SBI offers for NRIs, and if it can be a good choice for you and your family.

📝 Table of contents

SBI Remittances

If you are an NRI living abroad, you can send money to India using SBI Remittance services. SBI Remittance has specialized dedicated services for these two geographies:

  • United Kingdom
  • Middle East

And SBI has additional instant transfer remittance services for¹:

  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Singapore
  • South Africa

SBI Remittances from UK

SBI has Express Remit UK which lets customers based in the UK send money directly from a GBP bank account to a bank account in India.

The process is fully online so you can sign up and start sending money through the Express Remit website at any time.

Each transaction will have a Customer Initiated Payments (CIP) process to help you track and stay updated on the transfer.²

⚠️ SBI Express Remit for UK-India will shut down as of 15 August 2021

A replacement option is Yono SBI UK which allows for transfers and has an Android/ iOS app for transfers to India.

SBI Remittances from the Middle East

For remittances from the Middle East, SBI has branch offices in Bahrain, Oman and Israel. Residents can contact the branch and make instant transfers to SBI clients in India. Contact your nearest SBI branchto discuss the transfer and fees.³
There are more traditional ways to send money to India through SBI NRI services. These methods have their own costs and are often more time consuming. The methods include:

  • SWIFT Transfers
  • Demand Drafts
  • Foreign currency cheques
  • Cashier cheques
ℹ️ Read more about international transfers with SBI

SBI remittance fees

There are typically three main fees when remitting through SBI: a transfer fee, a conversion charge, and a hidden exchange rate fee.

Let’s take a look at each of them and see how they compare with the transparent and low cost Wise exchange rate.

The transfer fee is not always applicable on all transactions with SBI. If you are sending money from the UK to India, there are no charges for up to £500.

And that’s whether you are sending money to a SBI account or crediting another bank account in India. However, for other geographies you can expect to pay a transfer fee on each transaction. Check with SBI directly to understand the fee to expect.

And for the transfer, including for the UK, you will have to pay a fee of ₹250 on every transaction as a foreign conversion charge. This charge is given by the bank for converting your foreign currency into Indian Rupee ⁴

Lastly, the fee to watch is the hidden exchange rate fee. SBI sets their own exchange rate by marking-up on top of the real mid-market exchange rate. That means they can sneak in a fee on every pound, dollar, or any other currency you exchange into Indian rupees.

Here is how the hidden exchange rate fee compares versus using the mid-market exchange rate, like with Wise, when sending £500 GBP, $500 USD or $500 CAD into Indian Rupees:

CurrencysbiWise vs SBI
500 GBP₹50,715₹51,302+₹587
500 USD₹31,425₹37,158+₹5,733
500 CAD₹28,380₹29,664+₹1,284

13 August, 2021⁵

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But one last thing about SBI remittances. While transfers from the UK are straightforward with their costs, the other countries for SBI remittances are not clear with their fees.

You will have to contact the branches directly to identify the transfer fee, conversion charge and exchange rate on your transaction.

Save when sending money abroad with Wise

Send money to India with Wise

Wise is the fast, easy, and secure way to send money directly to bank accounts abroad from India online.

Wise is FCA regulated and used by over 10 million users around the globe. Wise gives you the real exchange rate, and one low transfer fee when sending money from or to India. And you always know the fees, and the delivery time on every transfer.

And if you are already abroad, check out if you can get the Wise multi currency account- a single account that lets you hold multiple currencies, including Indian Rupees.

It is the one account and card that lets you send, spend, swipe, withdraw and receive like a local, all across the globe.

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SBI NRI Accounts

SBI offers different types of NRI accounts for Indians going abroad, currently abroad or returning to India. These include:

  • Non Resident External (NRE) Account: for foreign income that can be converted to Indian rupees
  • Non Resident External (NRE) Salary Account: for a foreign salary that can be converted to Indian rupees
  • Non Resident Ordinary (NRO) Account: for earnings in India while you are a NRI
  • Non Resident Ordinary (NRO) Salary Account: for salary earned in India while you are an NRI
  • FCNRB Account: for foreign currency deposits
  • FCNRB Premium Account: for foreign currency deposits and insurance
  • RFC Account: for income earned abroad when you resettle in India

SBI also has additional account options such as NRO Tax Saving Schemes, NRI Family Card, Demat Account and SBI Capgains Account, for example to cater to NRI needs. Learn more about the different types of accounts available to NRIs on the SBI NRI account page.⁶

ℹ️ Read more about SBI NRI accounts


SBI has 4 different options for loans for NRIs: home loan, car loan, loan against deposits, or overdraft against deposit loan. Let’s take a quick look at each.

Home loan

If you are an NRI looking to buy property in India, you can get a home loan for up to 30 years if you are between the ages of 18-60 years old. SBI offers attractive low rates and processing fees and no penalties for prepayment⁷

Car loan

If you are an NRI, you can get a car loan through SBI. The amount is based on the applicant’s income, where the maximum loan is 18x the net monthly income. The loan must be repaid within 7 years of the car’s purchase and there are additional processing fees. ⁸

Loan against Deposits

This loan can be used for business activities, buying a flat or house, or for emergency needs. It can be in INR or foreign currency if secured against an NRE or NRO account. It can only be given to the depositor and has
to be used in India. ⁹

Overdraft against Deposits

This is a type of account to protect your NRE/NRO account from overdraft. This is possible through the online portal and can be for amounts between ₹25,000- ₹5 crores. ¹⁰

To be eligible for any of the loans, you must be an existing NRI to apply. You can apply for a loan through the SBI online portal.

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SBI Investments for NRIs

If you are an NRI and looking to invest your money, SBI has 5 different investment products to offer¹¹:

  • Mutual Funds: you can invest in a basket of investment products, including money market, equity or debt funds
  • Insurance: insurance products to help protect your family with premiums paid through your NRE account
  • Equity Trading: a single account that lets you trade in equity, mutual funds, derivatives and IPOs with repatriability
  • National Pension Scheme for NRIs: Available to citizens of India between 18-65 years of age to participate in a defined contribution pension scheme
  • Portfolio Investment Services: an account that lets you buy shares and debt on the Indian stock market

If you are looking for detailed information, head to the SBI webpage for NRI investments.

Sources used for this article:

  1. SBI remittance
  2. UK remittance
  3. Middle East Remittance
  4. SBI charges
  5. SBI Exchange Rates
  6. NRI Accounts
  7. Home Loans
  8. Car Loan
  9. Loan against deposit
  10. Overdraft against deposit
  11. Investments

All sources checked as of 13 August, 2021

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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