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February 06, 2019 location Mumbai

Banks need Rs 20 lakh crore fresh deposits to meet credit demand

Aggressive deposit mobilisation likely over medium term mainly led by private lenders

CRISIL estimates bank credit in India would grow at a pacy ~13-14% on average between fiscals 2019 and 2020,significantly faster compared with the 8% seen in fiscal 2018, which would force a change in the depositmobilisation plans of banks over the medium term.


To meet this credit growth, banks will have to raise about Rs 25 lakh crore over the two fiscals. While Rs 5-6 lakhcrore is expected to become available through the release of statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) funds, ~Rs 20 lakh crorewould need to be raised through fresh deposits.


That would be well above the average annual deposit mobilisation of ~Rs 7 lakh croreover the past few years. Itwould also put upward pressure on the interest rates bank offer on deposits.


Traditionally, banks have utilised their excess SLR in the initial period of credit revival. They would do that this timearound, too. That said, bulk of the credit demand would be met by deposit growth and to a minor extent by otherresource raising options like infrastructure bonds.


CRISIL expects banks to maintain on average ~4% surplus SLR when credit growth picks up, compared with ~8%today. This, when juxtaposed with the Reserve Bank of India’s plan to reduce the SLR limit to 18% by March 2020,would translate to a release of Rs 5-6 lakh crore from the SLR kitty to meet credit demand.


Consequently, the asking rate of annual deposit growth would be a significant 400 basis points higher at ~10%compared with ~6% growth in fiscal 2018. To be sure, this is way lower than the ~25% peak seen in fiscal 2007.


Deposit growth has been declining over the past decade, and particularly in the past three years when it saw asignificant drop1 as interest rates offered on fixed deposits dipped below the returns on other financial investmentavenues. That diverted the flow of household financial savings away from banks.


Says Krishnan Sitaraman, Senior Director, CRISIL Ratings, “Lower deposit growth has meant a steady risein the credit to deposit ratio (C/D Ratio) on a stock basis, which is expected to touch 78% by the end offiscal 2019, compared with 73% at the end of fiscal 2017 (refer to Chart 1 in annexure). Banks will need toraise at least Rs 19-20 lakh crore of fresh deposits until March 2020 to keep the credit-deposit ratio near80%, which in itself would be highest in a decade.”


Private banks with strong balance sheets and robust credit growth are expected to lead the race for deposits andwill account for ~55-60% of the incremental deposit mobilisation. These would be followed by public sector banksoutside the Reserve Bank of India’s Prompt Corrective Action framework with ~30-35%.


Private banks have already gained 7% market share in deposits over the past five years to touch ~30% (see Chart2 in annexure) and are well poised to gain further backed by superior technology, service levels and ability toacquire customers.


Meanwhile, increasing volatility in the equity market, moderating flows into other investment avenues, and hike inbank deposit rates in recent months could bring some household financial savings back into bank deposits.


Says Rama Patel, Director, CRISIL Ratings, “Over the first nine months of this fiscal, banks have alreadyraised deposit rates by an average of 40-60 basis points We expect banks to sharpen focus on depositmobilisation over the medium term through attractive rate offerings across tenors in both bulk and retailsegments. That, in turn, could further increase the cost of funds of banks, given that deposits account forthe bulk of their funding.”


1 After suitably adjusting for the hike in deposits seen in the immediate aftermath of demonetisation


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