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finance | IST

Loan demand for auto and retail loans rising, says HDFC Bank; expects to reach pre-COVID numbers by Q3FY22

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There are mixed signals coming in on the festive sales trend and outlook with some categories seeing strong growth, while others like autos not so much. HDFC Bank's Ravi Santhanam, CMO, Head-Liability Products and Managed Programs discussed the broader sense in the market.

As the economy tries to move on from the COVID-19 pandemic, things are looking brighter and HDFC Bank believes that by the next quarter it shall reach pre-pandemic numbers by the next quarter.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Ravi Santhanam, the bank's CMO and head of liability products and managed programs, said that the loan demand for auto, especially commercial vehicles, and retail, have seen an upward trend.
“Starting July, we saw the confidence in consumers going up slowly and steadily across the spectrum of our retail products. We have seen growth almost equitably almost everywhere. Compared to the pre-COVID era, I will still say that we are yet to reach that kind of level in terms of absolute numbers, but we will very soon get there it might be the third quarter,” he said.
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Demand in the last couple of months has increased in the entire commercial and rural banking portfolio.
"Across the tier two cities and all those markets, commercial vehicles have gone up very extensively for us. Auto loan - for us, there has been an increase in market share in spite of the industry not doing well. On the retail personal loan side, we are seeing the momentum coming back, we have almost reached pre-COVID levels in terms of disbursements on retail personal loans,” said Santhanam.
The bank has seen 10-20 percent higher numbers in card spends than the pre-COVID levels too.
According to Santhanam, the more the competition, the better as it expands the market.
“If you look at buy now, pay later (BNPL), while it is that craze of the town now, it was banks which introduced BNPL 20 years back. Credit card is nothing but a product. If you look at our credit card swipe, we allow you to swipe at any point of time you want and we allow you to make a payment with a free credit period for almost 52 days. So we are the biggest players of BNPL in the industry,” he said.
HDFC Bank has also partnered with Paytm to launch co-branded credit card.
“We see it as a win-win opportunity to brands coming together for the benefit of both of us. We see it as a strategy, very clear, articulated strategy for us to move forward and you'll see much more coming from our way on this side,” he said.
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video.