ICICI Bank to grow unsecured lending cautiously

Kolkata, April 17 (IANS) India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank will grow its unsecured lending portfolio cautiously as it will focus largely on existing customers, a top executive of the bank said Monday.

“We will grow that (unsecured lending) business, but we will focus largely on existing customers,” ICICI Bank Ltd executive director Rajiv Sabharwal told reporters here.

Unsecured retail lending products include personal loans and credit cards.

The bank had started reducing the share of its unsecured lending portfolio since the economic crisis in 2008 due to the risk of rising delinquencies.

Sabharwal said the lender was now planning to add new credit cards and grow its business further.

“Our Gemstone collection of credit cards is doing pretty well,” he said.

He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of an event to launch mobile money transfer and payment service M-Pesa.

The bank’s scheme of offering one percent cash back on equated monthly installments (EMIs) to its home loan customers has so far proved successful.

“We have been able to add quite a lot of customers due to this scheme. We will continue to focus on mortgage-backed lending,” the executive said.

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