A recent press report said that HSBC is planning to grow its unsecured Indian loan portfolio, mainly credit cards as its retail operation moves towards a return to profitability in Asia’s third-largest economy.
Reports said that banks in the country have cut down unsecured lending after personal loans and credit card dues turned bad following the global financial crisis. HSBC India has recorded a 46 per cent drop in its overall profit for the first half of 2009 as losses on retail lending more than doubled.
Mr. Stuart Davis, CEO, HSBC said that the bank is well positioned to grow its unsecured book but it will do it in a cautious and calibrated way. He also said that the bank has not planned to look at open market sourcing as it did perhaps four or five years ago but it will look at offering cards to customers who do not hold accounts currently with the bank.
Reports said that in the first half of 2011, HSBC posted a loss of $4 million in its India retail banking and wealth management business, narrowing from a loss of $49 million in the year ago period. Its overall first-half pre-tax profit in India rose 32.6 per cent to $451 million.