HDFC Bank Ltd, India’s top private sector lender, added a record 21,486 employees in FY22, taking the total staff count to 141,000. In the March quarter alone, it recruited 7,167 people, a record for a quarter. The bank had hired 3,122 employees in FY21 and 18,910 in FY20.
The bank also opened 734 new branches and 2,043 ATMs in FY22. It now has a network of 6,342 branches and 18,130 ATMs. In the fiscal fourth quarter alone, the bank added 563 branches. “The bank added two new branches a day during FY22. It is looking to open another 150 branches in a short period,” Srinivasan Vaidyanathan, chief financial officer, HDFC Bank, said during an analyst call.
The bank posted a net profit of ₹10,055.2 crore in the March quarter, a 22.8% increase from ₹8,186.51 crore a year earlier. It had a net profit of ₹10,342.20 crore in the third quarter of FY22.
HDFC Bank’s wholesale loan book grew faster than retail loans during the fiscal year. While the wholesale book grew 17.4% from a year earlier and 11% sequentially, the retail book recorded a 15.2% from increase from a year earlier and 5% sequentially. The bank’s total advances totalled ₹13.68 trillion in the fourth quarter, up 21% from a year earlier.
Vaidyanathan said growth in retail loans slowed due to supply chain issues in the auto loan portfolio. “If you look outside the vehicle segment and cards, retail currently is powering at a sequential momentum of about 6% or so. We do believe that vehicle (loans) should come back once the supply constraints abate. For the good part, it is coming back,” he added.
The bank also saw a change in its asset mix with the wholesale loan book now constituting 55% and retail loan book 45%. As a result, net interest income (NII)—the difference between interest earned and interest expended—grew 10.2% from a year earlier in the March quarter to ₹18,872 crore. Net interest margin, a key measure of profitability, stood at 4% in the fiscal fourth quarter, down from 4.1% in Q3FY22 and 4.2% a year earlier.
“Our asset mix has shifted from unsecured to higher-rated after the pandemic. Now things have reversed from pre-pandemic. All through the pandemic, retail loan growth has been going down and wholesale loans were picking up,” said Vaidyanathan.