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May 21, 2002 | 1220 IST
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StanChart to expand to 10 new cities

Debjoy Sengupta

Standard Chartered Grindlays Bank will expand its credit card business to 10 new cities in the next one year.

With competition hotting up in major cities and towns, SCG hopes to tap new locations with its credit cards. "This will allow the bank to expand its business in the segment by 25 per cent," consumer banking head Vishu Ramachandran said.

SCG is the largest player in the credit card business and holds around 30 per cent of the market with 1.4 million card holders. There are nearly five million card holders in India with an outstanding of Rs 70 billion.

"The banks expansion plan into other smaller town and cities that are emerging as business centres will allow it to enhance its market share by another five per cent," explained officials from the company.

Meanwhile, SCG has drawn up aggressive marketing plans for pushing its credit card business in areas where it already exists.

This is being coupled with new product launch in the category. The bank has also been tying up organisations and institutions for providing value added services to its clients, and with applicability of such cards on the rise, officials from the bank are optimistic of a phenomenal growth rate at least for the next couple of years.

India has emerged one of the most important location for Standard Chartered's international business with 15 per cent of the global business being attributed by Indian operations.

The bank has also taken up an ambitious expansion plan where it will increase its branches by 7 in the next few months and thereafter increase the number to 80 from 61.

SCG at present has licenses for opening seven branches which it is expected to exercise shortly. The bank to go for more licenses from the Reserve Bank of India subsequently.

Its expansion plan will allow it to be adequately represented in all towns and metros of importance and enhance its business in all categories including its credit card business in the next couple of years, explained officials from the bank.

Nevertheless, the bank hopes to achieve fifty per cent of its business through home finance by 2005.

Home finance presently contributes 20 per cent to the business. The bank is also planning to launch a couple of new products in the consumer banking segment and has targeted a 100 per cent growth in mortgage business, 25 per cent growth in deposits and a 25 per cent growth in personal loan segment in the 2002.

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