Mumbai: ICICI Bank Ltd, India’s second largest private lender in terms of assets, on Wednesday said it aims to grow the bank’s home loan book to at least 2 trillion by the end of 2019-20. ICICI Bank achieved a home loan portfolio of around 1.5 trillion for the first time, making it the largest mortgage lender among private sector banks.

“The total retail loan portfolio is about 3 trillion, of which home loan book constitutes around 52%," Anup Bagchi, executive director of the bank, said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “We will grow faster than the industry in this space." ICICI Bank’s home loan book has been growing at 16-17% over the past year, he said. ICICI Bank is looking to grow faster on the back of increasing demand from customers due to lower interest rates (as compared to November 2016), favourable property prices and improving quality of housing, Bagchi added.

“The growth will mainly come from tier-II, tier-III and tier-IV locations. Today, ICICI Bank operates from 1,500 locations in the country in the home loan space. We will add at least 500 more locations in the coming year," he said.

In a bid to digitize the mortgage ecosystem, the bank said it has enabled developers to obtain approvals for their projects in a paperless manner.

“This initiative has enabled the bank to approve 2,000 new housing projects, completely online. The bank has also enabled an unmatched online repository of 30,000 approved projects across 40 cities for its customers. The portal aims to offer a one-stop-shop experience for homebuyers where they can conveniently select their dream home from a large array of housing projects approved by the bank, check their home loan eligibility as well as apply for a home loan anytime, anywhere—all from a single portal— home.icicibank.com," said a bank release.

ICICI Bank has been under probe by multiple central agencies, including Sebi, CBI and RBI, for alleged wrongdoings in extending loan to now-bankrupt Videocon group by its CEO Chanda Kochhar, who has since been asked to go on indefinite leave till a probe commissioned by it is over.

ICICI Prudential’s Sandeep Bakhshi, who has appointed ICICI Bank’s COO, will run the private lender in her absence. The bank has also appointed Gireesh Chaturvedi as part-time chairman to replace M.K. Sharma whose chairmanship ended 30 June.

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