Private sector lenders have become aggressive in the home loan segment during the festive season as there is not much demand for corporate credit and there is excess liquidity, Amitabh Chaudhry, managing director and chief executive officer of Axis Bank, has said.
In an interview published in the Business Standard, he has said that state-owned banks and housing finance companies used to lead this intense competition. Now, private sector banks have become aggressive, he added. Answering another question, he said lenders are engaged in a price war in the home loan portfolio.
To a particular question on the bank’s performance in Q2, he said growth remains muted on the wholesale side of the business. Although growth is available, it is coming at a price (because of excess liquidity) that does not make sense for us, the interview quoted him as saying.
The bank is hopeful of beating the industry in growth in SME and retail. On the large corporate side, we have seen a huge amount of deleveraging. The CAPEX cycle has bottomed out and expects the cycle to back in 12-18 months, leading to better credit growth.
Commenting on asset quality, he expressed the hope that credit quality will show improvement in the second quarter. “We have seen slippages drop, collections improve, and many asset classes are witnessing their pre-Covid levels. SME portfolio continues to improve, he said, while pointing out that the large corporate segment is also showing improvement.
On growing its credit card segment, he said the bank has seen positive traction in the acquisition, cards in force, and spends. “We see this trend continuing through both the organic acquisition channels as well as the partnerships which we have with Flipkart and Google and others.”