Mumbai: The regulatory ban imposed on HDFC Bank on new credit card issuances has proved to be a boon for other lenders as it helped them increase their market share in credit card business. ICICI Bank gained the most, followed by SBI Cards and Axis Bank, as per the latest regulatory data.
ICICI Bank witnessed a 10% sequential rise in January in credit card spends while its fresh cards grew nearly 3%. In the overall tally, it gained a 1.5% market share. The private lender ended January with 10.1 million credit cards and spends worth Rs 10,230 crore as compared to 9.9 million cards and Rs 9,309 crore spends in December, respectively, the Economic Times mentioned in a report citing regulatory data.
“It was expected that larger banks will be the biggest beneficiary of HDFC Bank slowing down on the card side. Also, if you look at the banking system, there are not many opportunities to grow in the secured segment apart from mortgage or the corporate side, which has de-grown. In the absence of credit opportunities, this looks like a good strategy to grow the unsecured book steadily,” the publication quoted Siddharth Purohit, research analyst, SMC Institutional Equities as saying.
SBI Cards, too, gained from the regulatory ban on HDFC Bank. It managed to increase its market share by nearly 1%, with total cards increasing to 11.6 million at the end of January against 11.4 million at the end of December, according to RBI data. However, its card spends remained flat sequentially at Rs 12,177 crore in January against Rs 12,134 crore at the end of December.
Axis Bank also saw its card base grow to more than 6.9 million against a little over 6.8 million in December. Credit card spends, though, declined to Rs 5,107 crore in January against Rs 5,215 crore in December.
Total outstanding on credit cards crossed Rs 65,000 crore at the end of January against Rs 63,847 crore at the end of December. The total outstanding credit cards crossed 61 million by January, shows RBI data.
Worth mentioning here is that HDFC Bank used to add roughly around 2 lakh credit cards per month pre-Covid. It has a market share of 35-40% in the payments market and a 25% share in credit cards.
According to an earlier ET report, HDFC Bank may have to wait more before it can issue new cards after a technical glitch in its services last month. The outage is likely to trigger an adverse audit report by the RBI-appointed firm as the central bank has little tolerance for outages.
“The restriction imposed by the RBI on the bank’s credit card business is likely to remain an overhang on the stock as any relief in the form of the early lifting of the suspension could be delayed in the wake of recent tech outages,” the business daily quoted Anand Dama, senior research analyst with Emkay Global as saying.