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Indian banks' credit growth accelerates 16.8% in December quarter - RBI

A security guard stands next to the logo of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) inside its headquarters in Mumbai

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian banks' credit growth doubled to 16.8% in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday showed.

Bank credit had expanded by 8.4% in the quarter ended December 2021 and 17.2% in the quarter ended September 2022, as per the data.

The growth in credit was led by bank branches in metropolitan centres, which accounted for nearly 60% of the total credit by banks, the RBI said. Urban, semi-urban and rural centres also recorded double-digit credit growth, it added.

The growth of state-owned lenders' credit portfolios jumped, rising by 15.7% during 2022 as compared with 4.7% in 2021. Corresponding growth for private banks remained higher, however, at 19.1%, from 13.1% in 2021, as per the data.

With India's economy on the mend following the COVID pandemic, credit offtake has improved and most banks now expect double-digit credit growth for the current financial year ending in March 2023.

Deposit growth, on the other hand, has lagged credit growth for most banks, despite the RBI's rate-setting panel increasing the policy repo rate by 250 basis points since May last year.

Banks' aggregate deposits increased by 10.3% year-on-year in the December quarter, up from 9.6% in the same quarter of the previous year, led by growth in term deposits, the data showed.

Deposit mobilisation by state-run banks recorded an 8.8% year-on-year growth in the December quarter, lower than the 13.2% growth in deposits with private sector banks, the RBI said.

Banks’ credit-deposit (C-D) ratio rose further to 75.9% in the December quarter, up from 74.8% in the previous quarter and 71.6% in the quarter ended December 2021, according to the data.

(Reporting by Siddhi Nayak; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)