Money & Banking

Public sector banks losing market share in loans to private sector rivals

K Ram Kumar Mumbai | Updated on May 07, 2021

Loan growth in PSBs slackened due to streamlining operations and mergers within the group

The proposed privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) in FY22 could accentuate the already declining market share of PSBs in loans, with the share of private sector banks (PvSBs) expected to go up further.

A realignment of market share in loans has been happening in the banking space over the last four years.

PSBs’ (or state-owned Banks) market share in loans declined to around 59 per cent (of all scheduled commercial banks’ outstanding credit) in December 2020 against around 65 per cent in December 2017.

However, during this period, PvSBs market share rose to around 36 per cent from around 30 per cent, going by Reserve Bank of India data.

The aforementioned development comes in the backdrop of PSBs turning cautious on loan growth in the face of stress in their balance sheets and IDBI Bank getting classified as a PvSB following the Life Insurance Corporation of India becoming its promoter with management control in January 2019.

Consolidation exercise

PSBs loan growth also slackened as some of them focussed their energies on streamlining operations following mega-mergers within the grouping.

Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank got amalgamated with Bank of Baroda with effect from April 1, 2019.

The aforementioned consolidation exercise was followed by mega-mergers in PSB space in FY20-21.

With effect from April 1, 2020, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India merged with Punjab National Bank; Syndicate Bank merged with Canara Bank; Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank merged with Union Bank of India; and Allahabad Bank merged with Indian Bank.

During the last four years, PvSBs pressed ahead with loan growth. Many larger and mid-sized PvSBs were neither constrained by capital nor weighed down too much by bad loans.

Realignment & privatisation

Now, if the Government makes good on its Budget announcement of privatising two PSBs in FY22, the market share of State-owned banks could shrink further by about 3-4 percentage points, with the share of PvSBs correspondingly going up.

In 2018, Uday Kotak, Managing Director & CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank, observed that private sector banks’ market share will go up significantly and be on a par with that of public sector banks in the next five years.

“...This major mega trend in the redefinition of the industry structure is something which is playing out as we talk,” Kotak then said.

Banking expert V Viswanathan assessed that PvSBs are focussing on credit to small and medium enterprises (which offer collateral), wholesale trade, home loans and related top-up loans, loan against property, auto loans and personal loans, among others, in a big way.

Meanwhile, small finance banks have grown their market share in loans to about 1 per cent in December 2020 from about 0.22 per cent in December 2017. Foreign banks’ share came down to 3.98 per cent from 4.44 per cent.

Published on May 07, 2021

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