Axis Bank to stay focused on corporate loans

Axis Bank to stay focused on corporate loans

Mumbai: Indian private-sector lender Axis Bank plans to keep its focus on corporate lending, with retail loans to stay a small part of its loan book, a senior official told on Monday.

“We do not see the complexion of the bank changing drastically from what it is today in any form," executive director Srinivasan Varadarajan said at the Reuters India Investment Summit.

“It is important to play to your strengths rather than going into a segment which isn’t your best."

Some Indian banks are stepping up their focus on retail lending, largely made of personal loans, credit cards, consumer goods financing and auto loans, after confidence in the economy returned.

Analysts had expected Axis Bank to build up its retail loan book to balance a strong corporate portfolio. Varadarajan expects retail loans to stay between 20% to 30% of its loan book, with corporate advances making up about half.

Varadarajan joined Axis two months back from JPMorgan’s Indian unit, where he was head of markets in India.

He oversees the corporate, infrastructure, capital markets, treasury and international businesses for Axis Bank, India’s third-largest private-sector lender.