HDFC Bank Ltd., in its annual report, says its network of branches has crossed over 6,000 across India, and the bank plans to nearly double it in the next three to five years by opening 1,500 to 2,000 branches every year. These branches will be digital from a customer on-boarding and transaction or servicing perspective, says India's largest private lender, adding these branches will be small in size and will be phygital relationship centres.

"This will enable us to go after the catchment more aggressively and build the required liability franchise that we are known for, and we are confident that we would execute well," says the private lender.

In total, HDFC Bank has 6,342 branches across India, and around 21,683 banking outlets. It serves a customer base of 7.1 crore, with a workforce of 1,41,579 employees. With total advances worth ₹13,68,821 crore, HDFC Bank recorded a profit worth ₹36,961.3 crore in FY22, shows the annual report.

Of the total branches, 2,036 are in semi-urban areas, while 1,843 are in metro areas. There are a total of 1,312 branches across urban areas and 1,147 in rural areas. "Our addition of 734 branches even during the tough pandemic year has served us well and we are closely tracking the success metrics of per branch profitability and productivity," says the bank.

Sashidhar Jagdishan, MD & CEO, HDFC Bank Ltd, says its balance sheet increased by 18.4% to ₹20,68,535 crore and net profit increased by 18.8% to ₹36,961.3 crore during FY22. “Gross non-performing assets (GNPA) decreased to 1.17% from 1.32%. ROA (average) was at a healthy 2.03% and ROE at a healthy 16.9%. Our commitment to shareholders remained high with a proposed dividend payout of ₹15.50 per equity share of ₹1, which translates to a dividend payout ratio of 23.28% for the financial year ended March 31, 2022," he adds.

On the merger between housing finance major HDFC and the lender HDFC Bank, Jagdishan says it's an opportunity the bank can't afford to miss. "Home loans are an emotional product and bring with them a host of accelerated benefits for the bank. Today the environment for buying a home has changed. RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) has ensured greater transparency in the process. Price corrections in the property market have seen inventories come down. Also, rising incomes mean that home loan EMIs have come down as a percentage of a person’s income," he says.

He adds that only 2% of HDFC Bank customers source home loans through it, while 5% do it from other institutions. "The latter is equivalent to the size of our retail book. Home loan customers typically keep deposits that are 5 to 7 times that of other retail customers. And about 70% of HDFC Ltd.’s customers do not bank with us. All these give us an idea about the size of the opportunity."

He said the enhanced capital position of the bank post the merger means it can take bigger exposures in leading corporates and power the country’s infrastructure build-out. Notably, on April 4, 2022, HDFC and HDFC Bank announced a merger of the two companies, which is subject to various regulatory approvals and will take effect in about 15 to 18 months. While the HDFC Bank stock is trading at ₹1,332.35, down 0.30%, the HDFC stock is down 0.25% at ₹2,168.10 on the NSE today.

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