Country’s biggest private sector lender HDFC Bank expects 17-18 per cent loan growth during the current financial year as there is enough credit demand. Effective July 1, the parent mortgage firm HDFC Ltd merged with its subsidiary HDFC Bank making it the second biggest lender after State Bank of India. During the first quarter, the total advances of the bank rose by 15.8 per cent to Rs 16.15 lakh crore.
“On an overall basis, we are confident that there is enough credit demand. It is for us to see which one we want and what time we start to build in,” HDFC Bank Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Srinivasan Vaidyanathan said in a recent call with analysts. The bank will be selective in terms of credit and will not participate in certain loans, he said, adding, “if the price is not to our liking, we do not need it.”
Meanwhile, the vice chairman of the now merged entity HDFC Ltd Keki Mistry has become the most valued independent director. The market capitalisation of the listed companies including HDFC Bank on which he is an independent director is over Rs 27 lakh crore. Apart from HDFC Bank, Mistry is also on the boards of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HDF Life, Torrent Power and Flipkart, among others.
He is followed by former SBI chairman O P Bhatt; Chairman, Capacity Building Commission, Adil Zainulbhai; and former Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary. On the distribution front, Vaidyanathan said, while the bank added 39 branches in the quarter, 1,482 branches were added over the last 12 months. The total number of branches now stands at 7,860.
With regard to cards, he said, the bank has issued 1.5 million cards in the first quarter and the total card stands at 18.4 million. “Our website continues to receive enormous traffic. We received on an average 109 million visits per month with over 89 million unique visitors over the quarter at an year-on-year growth of 42 per cent,” he said. The RBI in December 2020 had asked HDFC Bank to stop all launches of its upcoming digital business-generating activities and sourcing of new credit card customers after repeated outages at its data centre which impacted operations. It was subsequently lifted in March 2022.
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