Money & Banking

Surabhi | Mumbai, June 6 | Updated on: Jun 06, 2022

Plans customer acquisition, growth in balancesheet; possible branch expansion also on cards, says CEO

Bullish on its growth prospects, HSBC India plans to expand its presence in India with more customer acquisition and growth in balancesheet. It is also exploring the possibility of increasing its branch network in the country.

“India is acknowledged as a market where we will have the maximum possible opportunity to serve our customers well, do things for the country, make an impact on society,” said Hitendra Dave, General Manager and CEO, HSBC India.

In an interaction with BusinessLine, Dave, who is just about to complete one year at the helm of the bank, said the lender wants to acquire more customers in the country and increase its balancesheet both on liabilities and assets.

“We are looking to meaningfully grow the number of customers we serve across all segments. One part of our strategy is to acquire more customers, and the second part is increase our balance sheet, both on liabilities as well as on assets. We are hoping that a combination of these two will give us about 50 per cent higher profitability over the medium term in India and GIFT City,” said Dave.

India was the fourth-largest contributor to HSBC Group profits in 2021.

Dave said the bank believes there are growth potenital across segments in India, but the most-exciting opportunity for the bank remains in MSME and retail segments.

In SME and MSME banking, the bank currently adds about 200 to 300 customers a month.

“We are expanding both our asset book, our transaction banking book, our FX book, mid-market customers who are really really benefiting from this huge surge in demand, both locally as well as from exports,” he said.

Retail banking

Similarly, in retail banking, HSBC India is looking to increase its customer base significantly by 2024.

“In retail bank, I would be very disappointed with myself if by 2024, we have not doubled, tripled or quadrupled all our types of customers, whether it’s credit cards, mortgages wealth, checking accounts. That means we should outgrow the industry quite meaningfully,” said Dave.

By April-end 2022, HSBC India had over 7.7 lakh credit cards in force, and a total of about 10 lakh retail customers.

The bank is also evaluating the option of expanding its branch network into Tier 2 and 3 towns as part of its expansion plans in the country.

“We are debating this because the growth is increasingly coming from Tier 2 and 3 cities with the fresh bunch of entrepreneurs, good manufacturing companies, good IT/ ITeS, services companies, tourism-based companies, healthcare-based companies,” he said, adding that at this juncture, the bank needs to take an in-principle decision on whether it can serve them from existing branches or needs to be physically present in more locations.

While an internal decision on the matter may be taken this fiscal, it will then need approval from regional and global stakeholders, as well as regulatory clearance.

The bank has 26 branches across 14 cities in the country.

Published on June 06, 2022