Mumbai, Sep 30 (PTI) Private sector lender ICICI Bank on Wednesday said spends by its customers have touched 90 per cent of the pre-COVID levels, with travel and tourism being the only affected segments.
The bank has launched a series of offers to encourage spending during the upcoming festivities in tie-up with brands, and expects a growth of up to 45 per cent in spends during the season compared to the year-ago period, its executive director Anup Bagchi said.
Earlier in the day, its larger rival HDFC Bank also said that the business has returned to pre-COVID pandemic levels.
Bagchi said the bank's customers, which largely consists of salary earners, have not been impacted by the pandemic. It can be noted that there have been reports of large scale job losses, especially in the organised segment.
From an overall spend perspective, the throughput has touched 90 per cent of the pre-COVID levels in February, Bagchi said, adding that in some segments like e-commerce, it is at 135 per cent.
He said the only segments where spends have suffered are travel, tourism and hospitality, as in these sections activities have come to a standstill because of safety concerns following the pandemic.
'The confidence levels are returning back and the incomes are also maintained. There is pent-up demand as well. Therefore, we expect a growth of 40 to 45 per cent in spends during the festivities as against a growth of 30 per cent during last year's festivities,' Bagchi said.
He said the growth can go much higher if there is a greater demand for consumer durables during the festive season.
When asked if brands are more amenable for tie-ups and offering deeper discounts given inventory pileups, Bagchi said companies are keen to tie-up with lenders who have a very large client base like ICICI Bank.
He also exuded confidence that normalcy is returning and nudges like the festive offers – both ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank launched such offers on Wednesday – will help build confidence very fast.
As part of the festive deals, the bank has tied up with brands for discounts and also launched offers for home, auto, two-wheeler and personal loans, as per an official statement. PTI AA BAL BAL