Admitting that COVID-19 will perhaps change the life forever, HDFC Bank Managing Director Aditya Puri assured stakeholders that the private sector lender is very well placed to tide over the difficulties posed by the pandemic. “Let us, however, remember that the darkest hour is always just before the dawn, and that dawn is not far away. Be it in riding out the health crisis or recovering from the financial losses that many have suffered, faith and hope are our biggest allies. But let us also accept that life has perhaps changed forever,” Puri wrote in a letter to the stakeholders.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown to curb its spread has created unprecedented challenges for the economy and also the financial sector. Puri assured the stakeholders that the bank is “very well placed to ride out the COVID-19 storm. We intend to continue to innovate, adapt, and disrupt to remain trailblazers. We will continue to collaborate to bring the power of ‘one bank’ to our customers”.
He said, “We will continue to invest ahead in technology, computing and artificial intelligence to provide hyper-personalised offerings/experiences to our customers to become a digital-first bank where every customer interaction at any touchpoint is intuitive, seamless, contextual and predictive. All these collectively ensures that we reduce costs and increase our reach.”
As on March 31, 2020, the private sector major had over 5.6 crore customers and 1,16,971 employees.
The bank said its gross non-performing assets (NPA) at 1.26 per cent was one of the lowest in the banking industry.
The HDFC Bank Limited Integrated Annual Report 2019-20 said the bank recorded an improvement in majority of its key financial parameters, largely due to its prudent credit evaluation of targeted customers and diversified loan book across customer segments, products, and sectors.
“Managing risk-return decisions with discipline also contributed to the bank’s performance,” it said. Its net profit at Rs 26,257.3 crore went up by 24.6 per cent and net interest income at Rs 56,186.3 crore rose 16.5 per cent, said the annual report.
Total provisions and contingencies were Rs 12,142.4 crore as compared to Rs 7,550.1 crore the preceding year. Total provisions for the fourth quarter of the financial year included credit reserves relating to the coronavirus pandemic in the form of contingent provisions of approximately Rs 1,550.0 crore, the annual report said.