Bank credit during Nov grows 18%; experts say long-term revival not visible yet
Retail loans kept the momentum of credit growth going for banks in November, thanks to a late pick-up in the festive demand, according to the monthly data put out by the RBI on Monday.
Total retail loans for the month grew 16.3% from a year ago to R8,58,000 crore against a growth of 13.3% in November last year. In October, retail loans had increased 14.1% to R8,33,734 crore compared with the increase of 14.3% last year.
Overall, bank credit during November grew almost 18% annually, to R46,61,000 crore compared with a 17.16% growth in the same period last year. Loans to the retail housing segment, which includes priority sector housing, grew 13.23% from a year ago to R4,37,200 crore, marginally lower than the 13.6% year-on-year growth recorded in the previous year. Vehicle loans during the month grew 25.77% y-o-y to R1,09,300 crore compared with a growth of 17.9% in November last year.
The credit card segment for the banks saw a credit growth of 26% from a year ago to R24,700 crore, much higher than the 3.7% growth recorded in the same period last year.
“On the basis of one month's data, we cannot say that the sustainable demand for loans has come back. So far, the growth has come from the retail segment, that too due to the festival season,” said a banker requesting anonymity.
Loans to the industrial sector rose slower by 17.7% to R20,85,300 crore due to lack of demand from the segment, according to bankers. Of this, credit to large corporates grew 21.4% y-o-y in November to R16,13,700 crore compared with a 21.2% growth last year.
Bankers say they have yet not seen any signs of long-term credit revival and expect credit demand for fresh projects not to improve till the end of the financial year. They say the corporate demand for loans is mainly for short-term working capital requirements, a trend seen even in the first half of the year.
In its monetary policy review in October, RBI stated that it is expecting the banking system to post a 16% y-o-y growth in credit during the current financial year. Deposit growth also weakened over last two years for banks as rising inflation lured investors to other products. As on December 14, banks' deposits grew by a sluggish 13.35% y-o-y to R64,33,934 crore.