India Markets open in 3 hrs 26 mins

Bank deposit growth slows to 9.8% from 18-month high previous fortnight; credit growth eases

rbi, rewserve bank of india, banking sector, banking industry

The growth in bank deposits at 9.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) in the fortnight ended March 1, 2019 was slower than the 10.2% y-o-y, reported in the fortnight to February 15, 2019.

That was the highest in one-and-a-half years, in the previous fortnight, data from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed.

Non-food credit or loans to individuals and companies grew 14.5% year-on-year (y-o-y) during the fortnight ended March 1, marginally faster than 14.3% y-o-y reported in the previous fortnight. During the comparable fortnight a year ago, non-food credit growth stood slower at 11.8%, showed the RBI data.

Bank credit in India is expected to grow at 13-14% on average between FY19 and FY20, significantly faster compared with the 8% in FY18, which would force a change in the deposit mobilisation plans of banks over the medium term, said experts at CRISIL Ratings. To meet this credit growth, banks will have to raise about Rs 25 lakh crore over the two fiscals, observed the experts.

Public sector banks (PSBs) have yielded 770 basis points (bps) market share in deposits since FY11, with the loss gradually picking pace in the past few years. PSBs lost 250 bps market share in FY18 alone.

However, the loss in branch share is far less at nearly 450 bps since FY11 and 200 bps in FY18, said the analysts at KIE. This demonstrates superior performance by private banks and partly reflects strong growth in loans for private banks, which requires them to focus more on deposits, observed analysts.

The net corporate bonds outstanding, as at the end of December 2018, was Rs 29.48 lakh crore, up 11.4% from `26.47 lakh crore in December 2017, as per latest data released by Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). Data from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed that the net outstanding on commercial papers stood at Rs 4.98 lakh crore as of December 31, 2018, up 21.8% from Rs 4.09 lakh crore in the previous year.

Taken together with loans, consolidated credit outstanding in the system stands at Rs 129.42 lakh crore as of March 1, up 13.8% from Rs 113.75 lakh crore in the comparable period a year ago.

The provisional data released by the RBI showed that outstanding loans to companies and individuals stood at Rs 94.73 lakh crore as on March 1, up from Rs 93.78 lakh crore on February 15 and Rs 82.73 lakh crore a year ago.

Credit growth has shown a recovery from record lows over the past few quarters with the banking system getting out of the impact of demonetisation and a bulk of lenders focused on retail lending. Bankers now sound increasingly optimistic about growth trends in credit off-take.

Jairam Sridharan, chief executive officer of Axis Bank, told the analysts after bank s Q3FY19 results that loan growth during the quarter was strong. There was pickup which was visible across all segments. Banking system non-food credit growth continued its upward trajectory from the multi-decade lows witnessed in the March quarter and stood at almost 12% for the latest fortnight, partly aided of course by the low base of last year, Sridharan observed.

Led by 20% y-o-y retail loan growth and 13% loan growth in SME segment, Axis Bank s loan growth in Q3FY19 stood at 13% y-o-y.

The corporate lending business scaled up the loan growth of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), while the retail lending business was largely unaffected, said the analysts at Motilal Oswal. HDFC s retail loan growth is impressive, despite intense competition and a high base. The next few quarters would be even better, given easing competition due to liquidity issues, the analysts observed.

ICICI Bank loan growth maintained steady pace at 12% y-o-y in Q3FY19. Muted loan growth on the domestic corporate lending side remains a drag as there is a large share of loans that the bank is looking to reduce its exposure, said the analysts at KIE. Loans to domestic corporates were flat y-o-y whereas international lending (mostly wholesale) was down 5% y-o-y, a trend similar to previous quarters. Retail loans, however, continued to witness strong growth at 22% y-o-y, the analysts observed.

Bank of Baroda has been reporting healthy traction in domestic loan growth while operating metrics are showing a gradual improvement, said the analysts. Loan growth has improved with better traction in domestic book with a pick up in loan-deposit ratios, observed analysts at Jefferies.