Indian Bank Refocuses on Corporate Lending

High default rates in retail lending has forced India's largest private-sector bank to refocus on corporate lending, says the Wall Street Journal.


The Journal notes that in the last decade, ICICI Bank Ltd. issued credit cards and consumer loans at an unprecedented rate. The default rate on its credit cards rose to around 12% while the defaults on its consumer loans rose as high as 8%.


"The whole credit atmosphere in the country changed in such a manner that the actual loss ratios turned out to be much higher than what everyone envisaged," Chanda Kochhar,  chief executive and managing director of ICICI Bank, told the newspaper.


With the renewed push in  corporate lending, the bank's retail-loan portfolio has come down from around 65% of its total lending a couple of years ago to 55% today.

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