ICICI bank eyes 450 retail branches by end of fiscal

ICICI bank eyes 450 retail branches by end of fiscal

MUMBAI : ICICI Bank on Monday said it has opened 320 bank branches so far this fiscal and was looking to add another 130 branches over the next 6 months, taking the total branch network to over 5,320 by the end of March 2020.

“Our strategy is to set up branches wherever business activity emerges. In line with this strategy, we have chalked out a plan of setting up around 450 branches this fiscal in fresh catchments and micro-markets where economic activity is present," said Anup Bagchi, executive director ICICI Bank.

According to the private-sector bank, customers are more keen to seek advice and guidance from branches for complex transactions, loans and investments. For simple transactions, they prefer doing it over digital channels like internet and mobile banking.

ICICI Bank’s branch expansion comes at a time when banks are going slow on network expansion. According to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, fiscal 2018 and 2019 were the slowest in the last 10 years. In FY2018 and FY2019, banks expanded their branch network by 1,804 and 2,958, respectively, as per the RBI's Handbook of Statistics on the Indian Economy (2018-19).

The bank reported a standalone net profit of ₹1,908 crore for the June quarter, against a loss of ₹120 crore in the same period last year, due to higher net interest income (NII) and lower provisions. Its net interest income (NII), the difference between interest earned and interest expended, rose 27% year-on-year (y-o-y) to ₹7,737 crore in the first quarter of FY20. Net interest margin (NIM), a key measure of profitability, expanded 41 basis points (bps) y-o-y to 3.61%.