Citi’s Bala­sub­ra­ma­nian to Head HDFC Bank’s Cor­po­rate Bank­ing Biz

The Economic Times - - Companies - Joel.Re­bello @times­group.com

Mum­bai: HDFC Bank has roped in K Bala­sub­ra­ma­nian, a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive at Citibank, to head its cor­po­rate bank­ing busi­ness from next month, two peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the in­for­ma­tion said.

Bala­sub­ra­ma­nian, cur­rently man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for cor­po­rate bank­ing at Citibank, joins at a time when HDFC Bank, known for its re­tail bank­ing fo­cus, makes a push to at­tract more com­pa­nies and in­sti­tu­tions to bank with it even as some of its key do­mes­tic ri­vals are plagued by bad debt, the sources said.

He will re­port to Kaizad Bharucha, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor in charge of whole­sale bank­ing at the pri­vate sec­tor lender, they said. HDFC Bank did not re­ply to an email seek­ing com­ment as of press time on Mon­day.

“This is the sec­ond big lat­eral hir­ing by the bank in the last few years, which shows HDFC Bank’s in­tent to ramp up ca­pac­ity in the busi­ness,” one of the two peo­ple cited above said. “Cor­po­rate bank­ing is now a huge chunk of the whole­sale bank­ing piece and a se­nior hir­ing at that level means the bank is now pre­pared to take over the big boys,” the per­son said. In April 2011, HDFC Bank had ap­pointed Rakesh Singh to head its in­vest­ment ban- king busi­ness from Euro­pean bank Roth­schild. Since then, HDFC has built a rep­u­ta­tion in the debt cap­i­tal mar­kets even as it tries to build a foothold in the equity cap­i­tal mar­kets. Whole­sale bank­ing in HDFC Bank in­cludes lend­ing to medium and large com­pa­nies, small en­ter­prises, in­vest­ment bank­ing and bank­ing linked to the govern­ment. Within this seg­ment, cor­po­rate loan book has grown quickly, ris­ing from around .₹ 47,000 crore about three years ago to .₹ 1 lakh crore cur­rently.

“Cor­po­rate loan growth is grow­ing quickly and this seg­ment is a clear fo­cus for the bank as its large ri­vals like ICICI Bank and SBI are plagued by bad loans from the seg­ment,” said the sec­ond per­son cited above. In the quar­ter ended De­cem­ber, for ex­am­ple, cor­po­rate loans grew 19% for HDFC Bank, higher than the av­er­age growth of 10.5% in the sec­tor.

Bala­sub­ra­ma­nian will re­place Jimmy Tata, who was in charge of cor­po­rate bank­ing till last year. Tata is now the chief risk of­fi­cer of the bank.

Bala­sub­ra­ma­nian to re­port to Kaizad Bharucha, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor in charge of whole­sale bank­ing

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