India’s RBL Bank targets 20% loan growth over next two financial years- CEO

By Siddhi Nayak

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Indian private lender RBL Bank expects a 20% growth in its loan book over the next two financial years, largely led by secured retail assets, its managing director and chief executive officer said on Wednesday.

“We are trying to get into areas which are futuristic … and have a better management of the capital,” R Subramaniakumar told Reuters in an interview.

“We have forayed into areas like gold and housing loans where the risk weight is fairly less and capital adequacy is going to be taken care of.”

The Reserve Bank of India’s move to raise the risk on unsecured loans impacted RBL Bank’s capital adequacy ratio by 70 points, Subramaniakumar said.

The lender is aiming to grow its credit card book around 23-25% going forward, from 29% in the October-December quarter, he added.

The Mumbai-headquartered bank reported a 20% growth in loans on-year, while deposits grew by 13%.

The bank’s retail loans grew 33% year-on-year.

Indian banks have consistently clocked double-digit loan growth over the past few months as demand for credit has stayed strong. Deposit growth has, however, lagged loan growth for most lenders.

Subramaniakumar said the bank does not envisage any pressure on deposits and its deposit rates have peaked.

RBL Bank expects its net interest margin (NIM), which was at 5.52% in the three months to December, to remain flattish in the current quarter.

NIM will increase by a few basis points every quarter in 2024-25, Subramaniakumar said.

Separately, the lender is evaluating options regarding its exposure to alternate investment funds (AIF), Subramaniakumar said, adding that such exposure is completely provided for as per the central bank’s mandate.

RBL Bank’s investments in AIF have a net asset value of 1.61 billion rupees ($19.38 million), he added.

($1 = 83.0950 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Siddhi Nayak; Editing by Sohini Goswami)