CARDS & PAYMENTS | Staff Reporter, India

HSBC and ICICI boosting Indian credit card base

This is their first expansion since 2008-09.

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and India’s ICICI Bank have begun expanding their credit card base. Analysts believe both banks are now convinced that increasing their credit card portfolios will not lead to significant erosion in asset quality.

ICICI Bank had 2.84 million credit cards at the end of January 2013 compared to 2.82 million in December 2012 and 2.77 million in November.

HSBC’s credit card base in India rose to 502,757 in January from 501,631 and 501,229 in the previous two months. HSBC India said it continues to grow its credit card business in a cautious and calibrated manner.

On the other hand, ICICI has increased its focus on cross-selling of credit cards to its existing customers. It said most of the growth in card numbers is being generated from this segment.

The credit card base of ICICI and HSBC fell every month between April 2011 and October 2012, said the Reserve Bank of India, the central bank.

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