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