At least 10 banks have bucked the trend of a general slowdown in loan growth in the Indian banking industry.
Eight of them are private banks and two are public sector banks—Vijaya Bank and Bank of Maharashtra.
The private banks are HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd, Axis Bank Ltd, Centurion Bank of Punjab Ltd, Development Credit Bank Ltd, Yes Bank Ltd and South Indian Bank Ltd.
All these banks have posted a year-on-year credit growth of well above 30% between September 2006 and September 2007, well above the industry average of 23%.
According to a recent report by domestic financial services firm Enam Securities Pvt. Ltd, Yes Bank, a new generation private sector bank, has posted a 101% growth in credit to Rs7,516 crore from Rs3,730 crore. Among the others, Development Credit Bank has posted 71% growth in credit offtake and Centurion Bank of Punjab 67%.
Higher ground: HDFC Bank’s corporate office in Mumbai. The bank saw a credit growth of 46%.
Both Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank have recorded 54% growth in credit.
On the other end of the spectrum are Indian Bank, Union Bank of India and Canara Bank. Indian Bank’s loan book between October 2006 and September 2007 has grown by 11%, that of Union Bank 12% and Canara Bank 15%.
“We are a three-year-old bank and a smaller base increases our potential for delivery of services. We also securitized close to Rs2,000 crore in the first two quarters of the last financial year. So, we have more funds to lend,” said Rajat Monga, chief financial officer, Yes Bank.
Gautam Vir, managing director and chief executive officer of Development Credit Bank, had said at a press conference earlier this week that despite the credit growth slowdown in the industry, his bank would not be “affected” as “it is a niche bank catering to customers within the footfall of its own branches and would continue to grow with a diversified portfolio.”
Even big private sector banks posted high credit growth. HDFC Bank saw a credit growth of 46% and ICICI Bank 33%.
The banking industry in India has seen a slowdown in its credit growth from 28.5% to 22.5% on a year-on-year basis this fiscal.
The Reserve Bank of India is not unhappy with the slowdown. In fact, it has taken a series of measures to rein in scorching credit growth in certain sectors such as mortgages and personal loans.
Banking analysts said the demand for loans from customers is still quite high and that new generation private sector banks such as Yes Bank, Centurion Bank of Punjab and Development Credit Bank are finding it easier to grow as they have a smaller base.
Monga of Yes Bank, however, said the going may not be as good in the days ahead.
The “real challenge”, he added, will begin now as credit growth typically accelerates in the second half of the year, in the post-harvest season.
Overall, banks may have a tough time trying to maintain their profitability.
In October, RBI increased the balance banks need to maintain with it, increasing their cost of funds. However, the banks have not been able to increase their rates as most borrowers are against this move. As a result, many banks have started paring their deposit rates.