NEWS & ADVICE : CREDIT CARDS
ICICI Bank to scale down its credit card exposure
By Ankit Sharma
Oct 27, 2008
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The economic slowdown in the country has not left any segment unaffected. Country's credit card portfolio has also been adversely influenced by the crisis and in response to such an effect, ICICI Bank has decided to hold back its credit card expansion.

The bank has also planned such a move to improve the quality of its overall credit-card clientele. The bank's outstanding advances under the credit cards segment exceeded Rs 9,600 crore as on March 31, 2008. This was noted to be a 60% rise over its last year outstanding of Rs 6,100 crore.

Sachin Khandelwal, ICICI Bank's head of cards said, "We have become very cautious on new customer acquisitions and now looking at good customers only. We have tightened the credit norms and looking at fewer new customers."

In fact the bank is also asking cardholders with high-value purchases to choose for monthly repayment options. This step is taken to capture the risk of default in times of rising delinquency rate in the country. Credit card defaults have increased to 10-14 % against 9-12% a year back.

"We keep tracking customers' credit worthiness regularly and revise the credit limits as deemed appropriate based on their credentials," said Mr. Khandelwal.

He told that the new credit card demand has also been affected due to the meltdown.

ICICI is also advising existing customers to transfer their high-value transactions to monthly repayment schemes. "This is to help them reduce their monthly outgo and plan better when doing with high value purchases," said the banker.

In June this year, ICICI had raised the interest rates on credit cards from 3.15% per month to 3.40% per month.

ICICI Bank is the largest credit card issuer in the country with an incredible customer base of 80 lakh.

 


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