London, Jan 14 (Agencies): Senior NRI banking expert Deepak Ahuja joined the State Bank of India (SBI), UK, as its head of Consumer Banking on Friday.

Ahuja was previously working as the head of the NRI banking of Barclays Plc - Europe. He has also served as a Vice President at Citi Bank, UK, marketing head at ICICI Bank UK, Marketing manager in UK at Zee and UK Relationship manager at the American Express in Mumbai.

"The SBI has a unique brand value and brand franchise within the Indian community. Most important, people trust the SBI-that is a predominant factor. It is going to be pretty interesting. The SBI bank in the UK is going to be a major player in various aspects of banking, particularly retail banking," said Ahuja on his decision to join the SBI.

At a New Year reception hosted by the Bank at the Gibson Hall here on Thursday night, Rajnish Kumar, Regional Head and Chief Executive Officer of SBI, UK, said the Bank was doing very well.

“Our customer base is constantly growing and we plan to undertake retail banking expansion in a big way," he said, adding there were plans to open three more branches in the next six months, expanding the bank operations to ten branches in the UK.

The new branches will be at East Ham, Wolverhampton and Coventry.