Bank credit rose by 6.63% to Rs 107.75 lakh crore and deposits grew by 12.06% to Rs 149.34 lakh crore in the fortnight ended Feb. 26, according to RBI data.
In the fortnight ended Feb. 28, 2020, bank credit stood at Rs 101.05 lakh crore and deposits at Rs 133.26 lakh crore, recent data released by the Reserve Bank of India showed.
Bank credit increased by 6.58% to Rs 107.04 lakh crore and deposits rose by 11.75% to Rs 147.81 lakh crore in the previous fortnight ended Feb. 12, 2021.
Care Ratings in a report said the bank credit growth in the fortnight ended Feb. 26 stood stable compared to the last fortnight and returned to the levels observed in the early months of the pandemic, when the loan growth ranged between 6.5% to 7.2% during April 2020.
According to analysts, the growth in bank credit is driven by an increase in retail loans.
Emkay Global Financial Services in its March 5 report said it expects overall retail credit growth, which is currently at 9%, to accelerate further, led by mortgages (contributing 51% of retail loans) and back-end support by unsecured (cards/ personal loans) and vehicle loans.
“The current market conditions favour banks armed with lower funding rates, strong balance sheet, better asset quality and strong captive customer base,” Anand Dama, an analyst at Emkay Global, had said in the report.
Large private lenders like HDFC Bank Ltd. (despite suspension in new card acquisition) and ICICI Bank Ltd. have been at the forefront of retail growth momentum, while Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. too is finally showing signs of much-needed growth and trying to raise the retail game, the report had said.
Care Ratings said increase in the credit outstanding during the next fortnight is anticipated as year-end transactions are expected to push up bank credit as banks undertake the year-end closing activities. This trend can be witnessed for the last three-four years.
In the first nine months of the current fiscal, while the growth in credit was 3.2%, bank deposits saw a rise of 8.5%.
“While bank credit growth had contracted 0.8 % in the first half of this fiscal, it recovered sharply in the third quarter by growing around 3% sequentially,” Crisil Ratings Senior Director Krishnan Sitaraman had said in a report released earlier this month. “In the fourth quarter, too, it should clock near 3% sequential growth.”
The rating agency expects bank credit to rise 4-5% in the current fiscal despite the sharpest contraction the Indian economy has seen since independence.
In the financial year 2021-22, bank credit is seen growing 400-500 basis points (bps) higher at 9-10%, as the country’s economy recovers, supported by budgetary stimulants and measures announced by the Reserve Bank of India, the Crisil report had said.
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