20-F 1 d298173d20f.htm FORM 20-F Form 20-F
P1083DP1Yus-gaap:OperatingLeaseLiabilityus-gaap:OperatingLeaseLiabilityfalseFY0001144967--03-31NYSEK7ININFor fiscal 2019 and 2020 the amount represents Other than temporary impairment. The Bank adopted the CECL accounting guidance on April 1, 2020. Under local regulations, the Bank is required to transfer 25% of its profit after tax (per Indian GAAP) to a non-distributable statutory reserve and to meet certain other conditions in order to pay dividends without prior RBI approval.Effective April 1, 2018, the Bank adopted ASU 2016-01 “Financial Instruments—Overall (Subtopic 825-10) Effective April 1, 2020, the Bank adopted ASU 2016-13 Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments (see note 2(g), 2(i), 2(x),5,9,20 and 23) Loans up to 30 days past due are considered currentIncludes crop related agricultural loans with days past due less than 366 as they are not considered as non-performing Rs. 34.0 billion.Includes crop related agricultural loans with days past due less than 366 as they are not considered as non-performing Rs. 33.6 billion.Net allowances for credit losses charged to expense does not include the recoveries against write-off cases amounting to Rs 16,777.1 million . Recoveries from retail loans is Rs. 16,590.9 million and from wholesale loans is Rs. 186.2 million.Net allowances for credit losses charged to expense does not include the recoveries against write-off cases amounting to Rs 25,658.9 million. Recoveries from retail loans is Rs. 22,548.7 million and from wholesale loans is Rs. 3,110.2 million.Net allowances for credit losses charged to expense does not include the recoveries against write-off cases amounting to Rs 28,919.8 million (US$ 395.4 million). Recoveries from retail loans is Rs. 28,605.8 million and from wholesale loans is Rs. 314.0 million.TDRs involving changes in the amount of interest payments may involve a reduction in interest rate. TDR modification during the year ended March 31, 2020 comprised of 13 cases.TDRs involving changes in the amount of principal payment may include principal forgiveness or deferral of periodic and/or final principal payments. Balances reflect charge-offs and/or allowance for credit losses and/or income not recognized/deferred. Others include equity securities with carrying value amounting to Rs. 11,611.2 million and Rs. 20, 600.1 million as at March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021, respectively. Equity securities include non-marketable equity securities carried at cost Rs. 696.9 million and Rs. 999.2 million as at March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021, respectively. Unrealized gain \ (loss) recognized in non-interest revenue–other, net Rs. (131.1) million and Rs. 7,618.1 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021, respectively.Includes securities sold under repurchase agreements amounting to Rs. 17,260.0 million with stated interest rate of 5.15% per annum and Rs. 90,200.0 (USD 1,233.3 million) with stated interest rate of 4.0% per annum for the year ended March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021, respectively, under RBI long-term repo operation with a three- year maturity period.Variable rate (1) represent foreign currency debt. Variable rate debt is typically indexed to LIBOR, T-bill rates, Marginal cost of funds based lending rates (MCLR), among others.The  scheduled maturities of long-term debt do not include perpetual bonds of Rs. 84,976.1 million (net of debt issuance cost).The data pertaining to plan investment assets measured at fair value by level and total at March 31, 2021 are provided separately.Comprised of securities and cash collaterals. These amounts are limited to the asset/liability balance, and accordingly, do not include excess collateral received/pledged.Equity securities classified within other assets.Weighted average assumptions used to determine both benefit obligations and net periodic benefit cost.In accordance with the COVID-19 Regulatory Packages announced by the RBI on March 27, 2020, April 17, 2020 and May 23, 2020, the Bank, in accordance with its board approved policy, offered a moratorium on the repayment of all installments and / or interest, as applicable, due between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020 to all eligible borrowers classified as standard, even if overdue, as on February 29, 2020. In respect of such accounts that were granted moratorium within the laid down framework, the asset classification remained standstill during the moratorium period. The Supreme Court of India, in a public interest litigation, vide an interim order dated September 03, 2020, had directed banks that accounts which were not declared NPA till August 31, 2020 shall not be declared as NPA till further orders. 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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
FORM
20-F
 
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021
OR
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from 
    
    
    
    
to
                
OR
 
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of event requiring this shell company report
Commission file number
001-15216
 
 
HDFC BANK LIMITED
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
 
 
Not Applicable
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)
India
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
HDFC Bank House, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400013, India
(Address of principal executive offices)
Name:
Santosh Haldankar
, Senior Vice President (Legal) and Company Secretary
Telephone:
91
-
22-3976-0711
Email: Santosh.Haldankar@hdfcbank.com
Office Address: 
HDFC Bank Ltd; Legal & Secretarial Dept; 2nd floor, Zenith House
,
Opp. Race Course Gate No. 5 & 6 , Keshavrao Khadye Marg
,
Mahalaxmi(west)
,
Mumbai
400 034
, India.
(Name, telephone,
e-mail
and/or facsimile number and address of company contact person)
 
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of each class
 
Trading Symbol(s)
 
Name of each exc
ha
nge on which registered
American Depositary Shares, each representing three Equity Shares, Par value Rs. 1.0 per share
 
HDB
 
The New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: Not Applicable
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: Not Applicable
 
 
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report:
Equity Shares, as of March 31, 2021                
5,512,776,482
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒
Note—Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation
S-T
(§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer” and “emerging growth company” in
Rule 12b-2
of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer  ☒                Accelerated
filer  ☐                Non-accelerated
filer  ☐                Emerging growth company  
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐
† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on the attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
 
U.S. GAAP  ☒
    
            International Financial Reporting Standards as issued
            by the International Accounting Standards Board  ☐
  
Other  ☐
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow:    Item 17  ☐    Item 18  ☐
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ☐    No   

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
     1  
     2  
     3  
     33  
     59  
     60  
     65  
     75  
     76  
     79  
     97  
     125  
     147  
     148  
     150  
     157  
     193  
     195  
     199  
     200  
        
        
 
i

CROSS REFERENCE SHEET
Form20-F
 
   
Item Caption
  
Location
    
Part I
       
Item 1   Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisors   
Not Applicable
  
Item 2   Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable   
Not Applicable
  
Item 3   Key Information   
Exchange Rates and Certain Defined Terms
   1
    
Risk Factors
   33
    
Selected Financial and Other Data
   76
Item 4   Information on the Company   
Business
   3
    
Selected Statistical Information
   79
    
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
   97
    
Principal Shareholders
   147
    
Related Party Transactions
   148
    
Supervision and Regulation
   157
Item 5   Operating and Financial Review and Prospects   
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
   97
Item 6   Directors, Senior Management and Employees   
Business—Employees
   29
    
Management
   125
    
Principal Shareholders
   147
Item 7   Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions   
Principal Shareholders
   147
    
Management—Loans to Members of our Senior Management
   138
    
Related Party Transactions
   148
Item 8   Financial Information   
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firms
   F-2
    
Consolidated Financial Statements and the Notes thereto
   F-12
    
Business—Legal Proceedings
   29
Item 9   The Offer and Listing   
Certain Information About Our American Depositary Share and Equity Shares
   59
    
Restrictions on Foreign Ownership of Indian Securities
   195
Item 10   Additional Information   
Management
   125
    
Description of Equity Shares
   60
    
Dividend Policy
   75
    
Taxation
   150
    
Supervision and Regulation
   157
    
Exchange Controls
   193
 
ii

   
Item Caption
  
Location
      
    
Restrictions on Foreign Ownership of Indian Securities
     195  
    
Additional Information
     199  
Item 11   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk   
Business—Risk Management
     21  
    
Selected Statistical Information
     79  
Item 12   Description of Securities Other than Equity Securities   
Not Applicable
  
Item 12D   ADSs fee disclosure   
Description of American Depositary Shares—Fees and Charges for Holders of American Depositary Shares
     68  
Part II
       
Item 13   Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies   
Not Applicable
  
Item 14   Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds   
Not Applicable
  
Item 15   Controls and Procedures   
Management—Controls and Procedures
     139  
    
Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
     200  
    
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm—Internal Controls Over Financial Reporting
     201  
Item 16A   Audit Committee Financial Expert   
Management—Audit Committee Financial Expert
     140  
Item 16B   Code of Ethics   
Management—Code of Ethics
     140  
Item 16C   Principal Accountant Fees and Services   
Management—Principal Accountant Fees and Services
     141  
Item 16D   Exemption from the Listing Standards for Audit Committees   
Not Applicable
  
Item 16E   Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers   
Not Applicable
  
Item 16F   Changes in or disagreements with accountants   
Not Applicable
  
Item 16G   Significant Differences in Corporate Governance Practices   
Management—Compliance with NYSE Listing Standards on Corporate Governance
     141  
Item 16H   Mine Safety Disclosure   
Not Applicable
  
 
iii

EXCHANGE RATES AND CERTAIN DEFINED TERMS
In this document, all references to “we”, “us”, “our”, “HDFC Bank” or “the Bank” shall mean HDFC Bank Limited or where the context requires also to its subsidiaries whose financials are consolidated for accounting purposes. References to the “U.S.” or “United States” are to the United States of America, its territories and its possessions. References to “India” are to the Republic of India. References to the “Companies Act” in the document mean the Indian Companies Act, 2013 and all rules and regulations issued thereunder. References to “$” or “US$” or “dollars” or “United States dollars” are to the legal currency of the United States and references to “Rs.”, “INR”, “rupees” or “Indian rupees” are to the legal currency of India.
Our financial statements are presented in Indian rupees and in some cases translated into United States dollars. The financial statements and all other financial data included in this report, except as otherwise noted, are prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles, or U.S. GAAP. U.S. GAAP differs in certain material respects from accounting principles generally accepted in India, the requirements of India’s Banking Regulation Act and related regulations issued by the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) (collectively, “Indian GAAP”), which form the basis of our statutory general purpose financial statements in India. Principal differences applicable to our business include: determination of the allowance for credit losses, classification and valuation of investments, accounting for deferred income taxes, stock-based compensation, loan origination fees, derivative financial instruments, business combinations and the presentation format and disclosures of the financial statements and related notes. References to a particular “fiscal” are to our fiscal year ended March 31 of such year.
Fluctuations in the exchange rate between the Indian rupee and the United States dollar will affect the United States dollar equivalent of the Indian rupee price of the equity shares on the Indian stock exchanges and, as a result, will affect the market price of our American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) in the United States. These fluctuations will also affect the conversion into United States dollars by the depositary of any cash dividends paid in Indian rupees on the equity shares represented by ADSs.
Investor expectations that reforms implemented by the Government of India (the “Government”) will lead to an improvement in the long-term growth outlook helped to improve the rupee’s performance, reducing the depreciation trend to 3.85 percent in fiscal 2015. During fiscal 2016, the rupee depreciated by 6.32 percent primarily reflecting global risk aversion and a strong United States dollar. However, in line with other emerging markets, which experienced currency appreciation in fiscal 2017, the Indian rupee also appreciated by 2.1 percent against the United States dollar. This was mainly attributed to repricing of the Indian assets by international investors (driven by domestic economic and political stability) alongside the disappointment relating to the United States reform agenda. In fiscal 2018, the rupee ranged between a high of Rs. 65.71 per US$ 1.00 and a low of Rs. 63.38 per US$ 1.00. Pressure developed in the last two quarters of fiscal 2018 as oil prices rose and trade war risks escalated globally. In fiscal 2019, while the rupee depreciated overall by 6.3 percent against the United States dollar, it ranged between a high of Rs. 74.4 per US$ 1.00 and a low of Rs. 64.85 per US$ 1.00. Rising oil prices and a slowdown in global trade volumes, as well as a risk aversion towards emerging market currencies (because of tariffs and trade war risks) have all affected the rupee negatively in fiscal 2019. The rupee further depreciated in fiscal 2020, amid weak global demand, low domestic economic growth and foreign portfolio investment outflows, as well as a result of foreign investors becoming more risk averse with respect to investments in India. In fiscal 2020, the rupee ranged between a high of Rs. 76.37 per US$ 1.00 and a low of Rs. 68.40 per US$ 1.00. The rupee appreciated by 2.8 percent in fiscal 2021, in part due to a weak dollar and robust foreign flows. In fiscal 2021, the rupee traded in the range of 75.08-73.14 per US $1.00.
Although we have translated selected Indian rupee amounts in this document into United States dollars for convenience, this does not mean that the Indian rupee amounts referred to could have been, or could be, converted to United States dollars at any particular rate, the rates stated above, or at all. Unless otherwise stated, all translations from Indian rupees to United States dollars are based on the noon buying rate in the City of New York for cable transfers in Indian rupees at US$ 1.00 = Rs. 73.14 on March 31, 2021. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York certifies this rate for customs purposes on each date the rate is given. The noon buying rate on July 16, 2021 was Rs. 74.61 per US$ 1.00.
 
1

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
We have included statements in this report which contain words or phrases such as “will”, “aim”, “will likely result”, “believe”, “expect”, “will continue”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, “contemplate”, “seek to”, “future”, “objective”, “goal”, “project”, “should”, “will pursue” and similar expressions or variations of these expressions, that are “forward-looking statements”. Actual results may differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements due to certain risks or uncertainties associated with our expectations with respect to, but not limited to, our ability to implement our strategy successfully, the market acceptance of and demand for various banking services, future levels of our non-performing/impaired assets, our growth and expansion, the adequacy of our provision/allowance for credit and investment losses, technological changes, volatility in investment income, our ability to market new products, cash flow projections, the outcome of any legal, tax or regulatory proceedings in India and in other jurisdictions we are or become a party to, the future impact of new accounting standards, our ability to pay dividends, the impact of changes in banking regulations and other regulatory changes on us in India and other jurisdictions, our ability to roll over our short-term funding sources and our exposure to market and operational risks. By their nature, certain of the market risk disclosures are only estimates and could be materially different from what may actually occur in the future. As a result, actual future gains, losses or impact on net income could materially differ from those that have been estimated.
In addition, other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those estimated by the forward-looking statements contained in this document include, but are not limited to: general economic and political conditions, instability or uncertainty in India and the other countries which have an impact on our business activities or investments caused by any factor, including terrorist attacks in India, the United States or elsewhere, anti-terrorist or other attacks by the United States, a United States-led coalition or any other country, tensions between India and Pakistan related to the Kashmir region or between India and China, military armament or social unrest in any part of India; the monetary and interest rate policies of the Government of India, natural calamities, pandemics, inflation, deflation, unanticipated turbulence in interest rates, foreign exchange rates, equity prices or other rates or prices; the performance of the financial markets in India and globally, changes in Indian and foreign laws and regulations, including tax, accounting and banking regulations, changes in competition and the pricing environment in India, and regional or general changes in asset valuations. For further discussion on the factors that could cause actual results to differ, see “
Risk Factors
”.
 
2

BUSINESS
Overview
We are a new generation private sector bank in India. Our goal is to be the preferred provider of financial services to our customers in India across metro, urban, semi-urban and rural markets. Our strategy is to provide a comprehensive range of financial products and services to our customers through multiple distribution channels, with what we believe are high-quality services, advanced technology platforms and superior execution.
We have three principal business activities: retail banking, wholesale banking and treasury operations. Our retail banking products include deposit products, loans including loans to small and medium enterprises, credit cards, debit cards, third-party mutual funds and insurance products, bill payment services, and other products and services. With respect to wholesale banking, we offer customers a range of financing products, such as documentary credits and bank guarantees, foreign exchange and derivative products, investment banking services and corporate deposit products. We offer a range of deposit and transaction banking services, such as cash management, custodial and clearing bank services and correspondent banking. Our treasury operations manage our balance sheet, and include customer-driven services such as advisory services related to foreign exchange and derivative transactions for corporate and institutional customers, supplemented by proprietary trading, including Indian Government securities. Further, our non-banking finance company (“NBFC”) subsidiary HDB Financial Services Limited (“HDBFSL”) offers a wide range of loans and asset finance products including mortgage loans, commercial vehicle loans, consumer loans and gold loans, as well as a range of business process outsourcing solutions. We provide our customers with brokerage accounts through our subsidiary HDFC Securities Limited (“HSL”), which we believe is one of the leading stock brokerage companies in India and which offers a suite of products and services across various asset classes such as equity, gold and debt, among others.
As a result of trade tensions and geopolitical risks, global growth slowed to 2.8 percent in 2019 from 3.6 percent in 2018, according to IMF estimates. In 2020, growth declined by a further 3.3 percent, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns and movement restrictions across the globe which caused GDP to contract in major economies. Going forward, we expect the global economic recovery to be driven by emerging markets and the United States. The IMF projects global GDP growth at 6 percent in 2021, with China and the United States growing at 8.4 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.
The COVID-19 pandemic also adversely impacted India’s economic growth. The Government imposed a strict lockdown between March 25, 2020 and May 31, 2020. While this helped to control the spread of the pandemic during the first wave, it adversely impacted all sectors of the economy, with the consumption and services sectors worst affected. India’s GDP contracted by 24.4 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 as a result of stay at home orders, restrictions on production and significantly decreased sales of non-essential items. In addition, India experienced an increase in unemployment, with the unemployment rate increasing to 11.90 percent as of May 2021 compared to 7.2 percent in January 2020 according to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy. In response to the pandemic and its economic impact, the Government and the RBI announced several measures during fiscal 2021. These included easing the policy rate, imposing a temporary moratorium on debt repayments and halting dividend payments by banks, among other things. Together with the easing of restrictions and improved hiring, economic activity started to improve again from the second quarter of fiscal 2021. GDP rebounded with 0.5 percent year on year growth in the third quarter of fiscal 2021 as compared to a contraction of 7.4 percent in the second quarter of fiscal 2021 and 24.4 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. In the third quarter, from a supply-side perspective, GDP growth was primarily driven by agriculture (4.5 percent), manufacturing (1.7 percent) and construction and utilities (6.5 percent). From a demand-side perspective, the primary driver was investment, which recorded year on year growth of 2.6 percent in the third quarter, as compared to a contraction of 46.6 percent in the first quarter and a contraction of 8.6 percent in the second quarter of fiscal 2021. The fourth quarter of the fiscal 2021 reaffirmed that the economy was recovering as growth momentum picked up pace. India’s GDP grew by 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to 0.5 percent in the previous quarter due to improvements across all sectors of the economy. For the full year, India’s GDP declined by 7.3 percent in fiscal 2021 compared to growth of 4.0 percent in the prior year.
More recently, the “second wave” of COVID-19 and related containment measures have adversely affected the pace of recovery for the Indian economy during April 2021 and May 2021. The majority of economic high-frequency indicators (i.e., economic indicators that are available more frequently than traditional economic data) decreased in April 2021 after having demonstrated solid growth during March 2021. However, given lockdowns and other restrictive measures were only being imposed at a local level, instead of nationally, the impact of the “second wave” on the economy is expected to be less severe than the “first wave”. Furthermore, the increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccinations in fiscal 2022 is expected to have a significantly positive impact on economic activity.
 
3

We expect the Indian economy to return to its path to recovery beginning in the second quarter of fiscal 2022. We estimate that GDP growth will be 9.1 percent in fiscal 2022.
The economic disruptions caused by COVID-19 also had a bearing on inflation. The headline consumer price index (“CPI”) tracked above the RBI’s upper tolerance of 6.0 percent between April and November 2020. The sharp jump in headline CPI was the result of supply bottlenecks that kept food inflation elevated for most of fiscal 2021. Headline CPI averaged 6.7 percent in the first half of fiscal 2021, before decreasing to 5.6 percent in the second half of fiscal 2021. For the full year, headline CPI increased to 6.2 percent in fiscal 2021, compared to 4.8 percent in fiscal 2020. More recently, headline CPI stood at 6.3 percent in June 2021, remaining above the RBI’s threshold for the second consecutive month. Going forward, higher crude oil prices and input prices, along with a rebound in demand are likely to keep inflation at elevated levels for the remainder of fiscal 2022. We expect inflation to average 6.0 percent in fiscal 2022.
In response to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related disruptions, the Government significantly increased spending and revised upwards its fiscal deficit target for fiscal 2021. The revised target was 9.5 percent of GDP compared to the previously budgeted estimate of 3.5 percent. According to the provisional data of the Controller of General Accounts of India, the fiscal deficit in fiscal 2021 was 9.3 percent, compared to 4.6 percent in fiscal 2020. For fiscal 2022, the Government is targeting a fiscal deficit of 6.8 percent and plans to improve the quality of its spending. We expect the fiscal deficit to rise to 7.3 percent of GDP for fiscal 2022, reflecting the cost of the measures announced in June 2021 (including, among other things, free food grains, and an additional fertilizer subsidy), which aim to mitigate the impact of the second wave of COVID-19.
Since commencing operations in January 1995 we have grown rapidly. As of March 31, 2021, we had 5,608 branches and 16,087 ATMs / Cash Deposit and Withdrawal Machines (“CDMs”) in 2,902 cities and towns and 61.9 million customers. In addition, we had 15,756 business correspondents, which are primarily manned by common service centers (“CSCs”). On account of the expansion in our geographical reach and the resultant increase in market penetration, our assets have grown from Rs. 15,961.9 billion as of March 31, 2020 to Rs. 17,979.8 billion as of March 31, 2021. Our net income has increased from Rs. 260.3 billion for fiscal 2020 to Rs. 326.0 billion for fiscal 2021. Our loans and deposits as of March 31, 2021 were at Rs. 11,700.2 billion and Rs. 13,337.2 billion respectively. Across business cycles, we believe we have maintained a strong balance sheet and a low cost of funds. As of March 31, 2021, gross non-performing customer assets as a percentage of gross customer assets was 1.70 percent. Our net customer assets represented 91.8 percent of our deposits and our deposits represented 74.2 percent of our total liabilities and shareholders’ equity. The average non-interest-bearing current accounts and low-interest-bearing savings accounts represented 40.0 percent of average total deposits for the year ended March 31, 2021. These low-cost deposits and the cash float associated with our transactional services led to an average cost of funds (including equity) of 3.6 percent for fiscal 2021. We had a return on equity (net income as a percentage of average total shareholders’ equity) of 15.1 percent for fiscal 2020 and 16.1 percent for fiscal 2021. As at March 31, 2021 we had a total capital adequacy ratio (calculated pursuant to RBI guidelines) of 18.79 percent. Our Common Equity Tier I (“CET-I”) ratio was 16.85 percent as at March 31, 2021.
About Our Bank
HDFC Bank was incorporated in August 1994 and commenced operations as a scheduled commercial bank in January 1995. In 2000, we merged with Times Bank Limited and, in 2008, we acquired Centurion Bank of Punjab Limited (“CBoP”). We are part of the HDFC Group of companies established by our principal shareholder, Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (“HDFC Limited”), a listed public limited company established under the laws of India. HDFC Limited is primarily engaged in financial services, including mortgages, property-related lending and deposit services. The subsidiaries and associated companies of HDFC Limited are also largely engaged in a range of financial services, including asset management, life insurance and general insurance. HDFC Limited and its subsidiaries (together, “HDFC Group”) owned 21.1 percent of our outstanding equity shares as of March 31, 2021 and our Chairperson and Managing Director are nominated by HDFC Limited and appointed with the approval of our shareholders and the RBI. See also “Principal Shareholders”. We have no agreements with HDFC Limited or any of its group companies that restrict us from competing with them or that restrict HDFC Limited or any of its group companies from competing with our business. We currently distribute products of HDFC Limited and its group companies, such as home loans of HDFC Limited, life and general insurance products of HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited and HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Limited, respectively, and mutual funds of HDFC Asset Management Company Limited.
We have two subsidiaries: HDBFSL and HSL. HDBFSL is a non-deposit-taking NBFC engaged primarily in the business of retail asset financing while HSL is primarily in the business of providing brokerage and other investment services. Effective April 1, 2018 the financial results of our subsidiary companies have been prepared in accordance with notified Indian Accounting Standards (April 1, 2017 being the transition date). HDBFSL’s total assets and shareholders’ equity as of March 31, 2021 were Rs. 626.4 billion and Rs. 84.5 billion, respectively. HDBFSL’s net income was Rs. 3.9 billion for fiscal 2021. As of March 31, 2021, HDBFSL had 1,319 branches across 959 cities in India. HSL’s total assets and shareholders’ equity as of March 31, 2021 were Rs. 47.6 billion and Rs. 14.8 billion, respectively. HSL’s net income was Rs. 7.0 billion for fiscal 2021. On December 1, 2016, Atlas Documentary Facilitators Company Private Ltd. which provided back office transaction processing services to us, and its subsidiary HBL Global Private Ltd. which provided direct sales support for certain products of the Bank, amalgamated with HDBFSL.
 
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Our principal corporate and registered office is located at HDFC Bank House, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400 013, India. Our telephone number is91-22-6652-1000.Our agent in the United States for the 2001, 2005, 2007, 2015 and 2018 ADS offerings is Depositary Management Corporation, 570 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022.
Our Competitive Strengths
We attribute our growth and continuing success to the following competitive strengths:
We have a strong brand and extensive reach through a large distribution network
At HDFC Bank, we are focused on offering a comprehensive range of financial products and solutions tailored to meet the diverse needs of our customers. We are driven by our core values: customer focus, operational excellence, product leadership, sustainability and people. This has helped us grow and achieve our status as one of the largest private sector banks in India, while delivering value to our customers, stakeholders, the Government, employees and the community. We believe HDFC Bank is one of the most trusted and preferred bank brands in India. We have been acknowledged as “India’s Most Valuable Brand” by BrandZ for the seventh consecutive year. We have also been acknowledged as “India’s Best Bank” by Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2020. We have capitalized on our strong brand presence by establishing an extensive banking network throughout India, serving a broad range of customers in metro, urban, semi-urban and rural regions. As of March 31, 2021, we had 5,608 branches and 16,087 ATMs / CDMs in 2,902 cities and towns and over 61.0 million customers, and of our total branches, 49.8 percent were in the semi-urban and rural areas. In addition, we had 15,756 business correspondents, which are primarily manned by CSCs. Our extensive branch network is further complemented by our digital platforms, including internet banking, mobile banking, WhatsApp banking and phone banking solutions, to provide our customers with a lifestyle banking experience, which is categorized into seven categories: Pay, Save, Invest, Borrow, Shop, Trade and Insure. Our focus is on delivering a highly personalized multi-channel experience to our customers.
We provide a wide range of products and high-quality service to our clients in order to meet their banking needs
Whether in retail banking, wholesale banking or treasury operations, we consider ourselves a “one-stop-shop” for our customers’ banking needs. We consider our high-quality service offerings to be a vital component of our business and believe in pursuing excellence in execution through multiple internal initiatives focused on continuous improvement. This pursuit of high-quality service and operational execution directly supports our ability to offer a wide range of banking products.
Our retail banking products include deposit products, retail loans (such as vehicle and personal loans), and other products and services, such as private banking, depositary accounts, brokerage services, foreign exchange services, distribution of third-party products (such as insurance and mutual funds), bill payments and sale of gold and silver bullion. In addition, we are the largest credit card issuer in India with 15 million cards outstanding as of March 31, 2021. With respect to wholesale banking, we offer customers working capital loans, term loans, bill collections, letters of credit, guarantees, foreign exchange and derivative products and investment banking services. We also offer a range of deposit and transaction banking services such as cash management, custodial and clearing bank services and correspondent banking. We believe our large scale and low cost of funding enable us to pursue high-quality wholesale financing opportunities competitively and at an advantage compared to our peers. We collect taxes for the Government and are bankers to companies in respect of issuances of equity shares and bonds to the public. Our NBFC subsidiary HDBFSL offers loan and asset finance products including tractor loans, consumer loans and gold loans, as well as business process outsourcing solutions such as form processing, document verification, contact center management and other front and back-office services.
We are able to provide this wide range of products across our physical and digital network, meaning we can provide our targeted rural customers with banking products and services similar to those provided to our urban customers, which we believe gives us a competitive advantage. Our wide range of products and focus on superior service and execution also create multiple cross-selling opportunities for us and, we believe, promote customer retention.
We have achieved robust and consistent financial performance while maintaining a healthy asset quality during our growth
On account of our superior operational execution, broad range of products, expansion in our geographical reach and the resulting increase in market penetration through our extensive branch network, our assets have grown from Rs. 15,961.9 billion as of March 31, 2020 to Rs. 17,979.8 billion as of March 31, 2021. Our net interest margin was 4.6 percent in fiscal 2020 and 4.4 percent in fiscal 2021. Our current and savings account deposits as a percentage of our total deposits were 46.1 percent as of March 31, 2021, and we believe this strong current and savings account profile has enabled us to tap into a low-cost funding base. In addition to the significant growth in our assets and net revenue, we remain focused on maintaining a healthy asset quality. We continue to have low levels of non-performing customer assets as compared to the average levels in the Indian banking industry. Our gross non-performing customer assets as a percentage of total customer assets was 1.70 percent as of March 31, 2021. Our net income has increased from Rs. 260.3 billion for fiscal 2020 to Rs. 326.0 billion for fiscal 2021. Net income as a percentage of average total shareholders’ equity was 15.1 percent in fiscal 2020 and 16.1 percent in fiscal 2021 and net income as a percentage of average total assets was 1.9 percent in fiscal 2020 and 2.0 percent in fiscal 2021. We believe the combination of strong net income growth, robust deposit-taking, a low cost of funds and prudent risk management has enabled us to generate attractive returns on capital.
 
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We have an advanced technology platform
We continue to make substantial investments in our advanced technology platform and systems and expand our electronically linked branch network. We have implemented mobile data-based networking options in semi-urban and rural areas where telecom infrastructure and data connectivity are weak. These networks have enabled us to improve our core banking services in such areas and provide a link between our banking outlets and data centers. In recent years, we have been actively engaged in the shift towards digital banking. Our aim has always been to improve customer experience through digital innovation as an “Experiential Leader” and we are constantly working to develop new technology and improve the digital aspects of our business. See
“—Digital Banking
We have invested in a digital banking platform, Backbase, to provide a single, unified omni-channel experience to our customers for mobile banking, online banking, the public website and payments. The latest version of our mobile banking app (v11.0) has been rolled out to our customers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the shift towards digital banking in the last year and the Bank has introduced several new features for its customers:
 
   
Insta Account Opening: Account opening using only a mobile device, Aadhaar and the Permanent Account number;
 
   
Video KYC: Automation of the Know Your Customer (“KYC”) process through video calling from the customer’s home or any other location;
 
   
DigiDemat: DigiDemat accounts can be opened instantly, using existing KYC documentation previously collected in order to open the corresponding bank accounts, removing the need for the customer to provide additional documentation; and
 
   
Issuance of Insta New Credit Cards: Enabled at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to overcome physical card delivery challenges. A physical card is sent within the normal turnaround time.
We have an experienced management team
Many of the members of our management have had a long tenure with us, which gives us a deep bench of experienced managers. They have substantial experience in banking or other industries and share our common vision of excellence in execution. Our experienced management team is led by Mr. Sashidhar Jagdishan, who has been with our Bank since 1996 and who was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank in October 2020. Formerly our Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Jagdishan was appointed as Change Agent in 2019. He was additionally responsible for legal and secretarial, human resources, corporate communication, infrastructure, administration and corporate social responsibility functions. Having a management team with such breadth and depth of experience is well suited to leverage the competitive strengths we have already developed across our large, diverse and growing branch network as well as allowing our management team to focus on creating new opportunities for our business. See also “
Management
”.
Our Business Strategy
Our business strategy emphasizes the following elements:
Project Future Ready
Steered by our new Managing Director, we recently launched “Project Future Ready”, which seeks to prepare the Bank to capitalize on the next wave of growth. Project Future Ready classifies its growth engines under business verticals, delivery channels and technology/digital, which will be backed by the Bank’s traditional strengths in internal audit, underwriting, risk management and governance. We believe corporate banking, commercial banking (MSME) and rural, government and institutional banking, private banking, retail assets and payments will be growth engines for the Bank, and plan to address these by focusing on our branch banking, tele-sales, and service, relationship and digital marketing.
We believe our growth engines will be supported by our renewed focus on technology and digital investments that we expect will form the backbone for the future of the Bank. While we are strengthening our Enterprise Technology Factory to ensure the availability, security and smooth functioning of our systems, we intend to also create a new Digital Factory. The mandate of the new Digital Factory is to foster innovations in the product and customer experience domains using both proprietary developments as well as collaborations with fintech and more established technology companies. In particular, we intend to focus on moving our products and services to the cloud, creating micro-services, establishing an API-based architecture for all our products and services, and developing partnerships by leveraging the interconnectivity of APIs.
 
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Increase our market share of India’s expanding banking and financial services industry
In addition to benefiting from the overall growth in India’s economy and financial services industry, we believe we can increase our market share by continuing to focus on our competitive strengths, including our strong brand, our diverse product offering and our extensive banking outlet and ATM networks, to increase our market penetration. We believe we can expand our market share by focusing on developing our digital offerings to target mass markets across India. We believe digital offerings will position us well to capitalize on growth in India’s banking and financial services sector, arising from India’s emerging middle class and growing number of bankable households. We believe we can also capture an increased market share by expanding our branch footprint, particularly by focusing on rural and semi-urban areas. As of March 31, 2021, we had 5,608 branches and 16,087 ATMs/CDMs in 2,902 cities and towns. In addition, we had 15,756 business correspondents, which are primarily manned by CSCs. In line with the Bank’s core value of product leadership, the bank has significantly enhanced its process of managing the retail distribution franchise and its expansion by developing a scientific approach and using a “Distribution Planning Tool”. This data science tool combines data sources, including geo-spatial data on urbanization levels in India, credit bureau information on the presence of financial companies in an area and various internal data sources with a front-end data visualization solution. The Distribution Planning Tool has enabled the Bank to merge data-based insights with on-the-ground intelligence to take informed decisions on the expansion of distribution points (branches, ATMs/CDMs and business correspondents) at locations which carry high business potential across the country. We expect this approach to help optimize our expansion and increase our market share and profitability.
Continue our investments in technology to support our digital strategy
We believe the increased availability of internet access and broadband connectivity across India requires a comprehensive digital strategy to proactively develop new methods of reaching out to our customers. As a result, we are continuously investing in technology as a means of improving our customers’ banking and payments experience, offering them a range of products tailored to their financial needs and making it easier for them to interact with their banking accounts and payment instruments with us. We believe our culture of innovation and development to be crucial to remaining competitive.
To accelerate our digital strategy, we are creating a Digital Factory and strengthening our Enterprise Technology Factory to develop new digital products and services and improve IT infrastructure. The digital and enterprise factories will focus on the development of APIs, big data and the cloud to ensure reliability, availability, scalability and security of our IT systems. We expect to hire talent from diverse backgrounds such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, design thinking, cloud and DevOps in a bid to strengthen capabilities for the digital and enterprise factories. We also aim to develop new internet protocol technologies and plan to shift to a native cloud architecture in collaboration with technology companies, fintechs and large IT companies. The enterprise factory will upgrade its legacy infrastructure, decouple existing systems and build its own capabilities, leveraging open source resources for resilience and scale.
Cross-sell our broad financial product portfolio across our customer base
We are able to offer our complete suite of financial products across our branch network, including in rural locations. By matching our broad customer base with our ability to offer our complete suite of products to both rural and urban customers across retail banking, wholesale banking and treasury product lines, we believe that we can continue to generate organic growth by cross-selling different products by proactively offering our customers complementary products as their relationships with us develop and their financial needs grow and evolve.
Maintain strong asset quality through disciplined credit risk management
We have maintained high-quality loan and investment portfolios through careful targeting of our customer base, and by putting in place what we believe are comprehensive risk assessment processes and diligent risk monitoring and remediation procedures. Our gross non-performing customer assets as a percentage of gross customer assets was 1.70 percent as of March 31, 2021. We believe we can maintain strong asset quality appropriate to the loan portfolio composition while achieving growth.
Maintain a low cost of funds
We believe we can maintain a relatively low-cost funding base as compared to our competitors, by leveraging our strengths and expanding our base of retail savings and current deposits and increasing the free float generated by transaction services, such as cash management and stock exchange clearing. Our non-interest-bearing current and low-interest-bearing savings account deposits were 46.1 percent of our total deposits as of March 31, 2021. Our average cost of funds (including equity) was 4.5 percent for fiscal 2020 and 3.6 percent in fiscal 2021.
Embed ESG principles within our wider business strategy
We factor in environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) concerns while designing products, processes and policies. Our ESG strategy focuses on climate change, community and society, along with practices related to people, customers, lending, procurement, and governance. We have a board-approved ESG policy framework and environmental policy in place to identify the Bank’s environmental risks and impacts. We have recently set a target to become carbon neutral by fiscal 2032. Our initiatives to reduce ESG risks include initiatives in digital banking, contribution to tree planting targets (we aim to have planted 2.5 million trees by the end of fiscal 2025, of which we have already planted 1.6 million), green building, managing greenhouse gas emissions through various initiatives, including those to reduce fuel consumption by our corporate fleet and paper consumption across the Bank, the use of renewable energy and a reduction in energy consumption.
 
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COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 11, 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (“WHO”). Since March 2021, India has experienced a significant surge of COVID-19 cases following the discovery of a “double mutant” variant in the country. Governments and companies have introduced a variety of measures to contain the spread of the virus. Measures we have taken include the implementation of remote working arrangements for the majority of our workforce, provision of appropriate masks and hand sanitizers for at-risk employees, use of physical distancing measures, periodic disinfection and fumigation of operational bank locations and the establishment of a specific COVID-19 employee helpline. In addition, as a result of the increase in remote working, we have strengthened our cybersecurity measures, including implementing two-factor authentication, increasing employee awareness of unusual activity and ensuring IT support is available 24 hours per day. We also implemented additional measures to enable customers to complete their banking activity remotely where possible. We believe that due to the measures we have taken following the initial COVID-19 outbreak and the “second wave” in India, including holding provisions that are in excess of the RBI prescribed norms, our capital and liquidity position remains strong leading to robust processes, coordination and communication within our business units and a high level of customer service and care.
The pandemic and its aftermath are likely to result in both challenges and opportunities for the Indian banking system. For example, opportunities in the healthcare sector are likely to grow, as the management of the pandemic underscores the need to expand capacity in this area. While the stimulus package announced by the government between May 13, 2020 and May 17, 2020 committed more spending on healthcare (the specific allocation of funds will be determined by the path of the pandemic and the resulting financial costs), it is likely that going forward both the central and state governments will increase spending on health and associated sectors, such as sanitation. Growth in the healthcare sector is likely to also have a positive impact on the pharmaceuticals and medical equipment segments. As the Government increases its focus on these sectors, it is likely to draw in private sector participation. In November 2020, the Government announced a Rs. 2.65 trillion stimulus package, which included funding for real estate developers and contractors, fertilizer subsidies, employment schemes and additional spending on rural job schemes. In addition, in February 2021, the Government announced provisional plans to increase its capital spending to INR 5.5 trillion in fiscal 2022 from INR 4.25 trillion in fiscal 2021. These measures may lead to increased demand for ancillary products in the infrastructure segment, as well as the crowding-in of private capital expenditure. Furthermore, the development of an Asset Restructuring Company could improve the balance sheet of banks and therefore, the availability of credit.
Agriculture is likely to see significant structural change, as proposed changes in farm produce marketing laws and the Essential Commodities Act 1955 are implemented. While we expect to see growing interest in the agricultural sector, obstacles to the procurement of produce and warehousing may continue to persist. This would directly benefit the food processing industry by inviting more corporate investment and expanding the demand for banks to fund this sector.
The government has also allocated considerable funding (Rs. 100.0 billion in the recent stimulus package) to formalize the micro-food processing segment through technical and infrastructure support and the implementation of safety and quality standards. The micro-segment is likely to grow in “clusters” and to offer increased credit opportunities for banks, particularly through the micro-finance and the self-help group (“SHG”) channels.
Loans to micro, small and medium enterprises (“MSMEs”) are likely to see immediate traction with the government providing a 100 percent guarantee on Rs. 3,000 billion collateral-free lending to this segment. While the sovereign back-stop makes lending to this segment viable in the near term, the effort to strengthen and scale up MSMEs may create high-quality borrowers in the process. The decision to infuse Rs. 500 billion as equity through fund of funds (20 percent investment from the central government and the remaining 80 percent from private investors) in MSMEs with growth potential is an example. The Government has also provided both a full and partial credit guarantee for NBFCs, housing finance companies and microfinance institutions. This reduces the risk of bank lending to these entities in the near term and over the medium term could assist such institutions in overcoming a cycle of elevated risk perception, shortage of liquidity and credit and balance sheet distress.
Furthermore, increased savings that are typical in the wake of a major economic shock are likely to provide the banking system with low-cost deposits. A lower risk appetite by the general public could drive investments away from alternatives, such as equities, and therefore further increase deposits. With respect to policy measures, the RBI is likely to continue its strategy of remaining accommodative. These measures would ensure low-cost funds for banks.
Finally, anticipated shift in global value chains away from China, in order to reduce concentration risk, as well as in response to a shifting geopolitical landscape, presents India with unique opportunities. India could gain global market share across sectors including more traditional sectors, such as textiles, furniture and basic chemicals, as well as more technologically complex sectors, such as mobile phone handsets, pharmaceuticals and auto components.
However, challenges still remain. As a result of the second wave of COVID-19, we have revised down our fiscal 2022 GDP projections to 9.1 percent. This could slow the recovery in credit demand in the coming year. With respect to Indian exports, a decrease in global demand led to a 7.2 percent decline in merchandise exports in fiscal 2021. For fiscal 2022, export demand is likely to recover, driven by an increase in GDP growth for major trading partners, such as the United States and Europe. However, any significant slowdown in Asia due to the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic could slow down the export recovery in India. In particular, the Bank expects the COVID-19 pandemic to have a prolonged impact in the hospitality travel, tourism, recreation, personal services and civil aviation sectors of the Indian economy. The rise in precautionary savings among households and the possibility of rising unemployment, which is often the corollary of a slowdown in economic growth, could reduce the demand for retail lending and in particular for larger borrowings.
 
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Given the dynamic nature of the outbreak, the extent to which COVID-19 will continue to impact our business, financial condition and results of operations will depend on future developments, including the length of the pandemic and how long it takes our clients’ businesses to recover, which remain highly uncertain and cannot be accurately predicted at this time. For additional information related to the COVID-19 pandemic see “
Risk Factors—The COVID-19 pandemic or similar public health crises may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operation” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Certain Factors Affecting our Results of Operation
”.
Our Principal Business Activities
Our principal business activities consist of retail banking, wholesale banking and treasury operations. The following table sets forth our net revenues attributable to each area for the last three fiscals:
 
    
Year ended March 31,
 
    
2019
   
2020
   
2021
 
    
(in millions, except percentages)
 
Retail banking
     Rs.473,748.2        79.6 %     Rs.540,456.5        80.2 %     Rs.567,389.2      US$ 7,757.6        72.5 %
Wholesale banking
     111,803.5        18.8 %     126,677.3        18.8 %     198,576.0        2,715.0        25.4 %
Treasury operations
     9,796.8        1.6 %     6,990.7        1.0 %     16,463.6        225.1        2.1 %
Net revenue
     Rs.595,348.5        100.0 %     Rs.674,124.5        100.0 %     Rs.782,428.8      US$ 10,697.7        100.0 %
Retail Banking
Overview
We consider ourselves a one-stop shop for the financial needs of our customers. We provide a comprehensive range of financial products including deposit products, loans, credit cards, debit cards, payment wallets, third-party mutual funds and insurance products, bill payment services and other services. Our retail banking loan products include loans to small and medium enterprises for commercial vehicles, construction equipment and other business purposes. We group these loans as part of our retail banking business considering, among other things, the customer profile, the nature of the product, the differing risks and returns, and market segment our organization structure and our internal business reporting mechanism. Such grouping ensures optimal utilization and deployment of specialized resources in our retail banking business. We also have specific products designed for lower-income individuals through our Sustainable Livelihood Initiative. Through this initiative, we reach out to the un-banked and under-banked segments of the Indian population in rural areas. We actively market our services through our banking outlets and alternate sales channels, as well as through our relationships with automobile dealers and corporate clients. We follow a multi-channel strategy to reach out to our customers bringing to them choice, convenience and what we believe to be a superior experience. Innovation has been the springboard of growth in this segment and so has a strong focus on analytics and customer relationship management, which we believe has helped us to understand our customers better and offer tailor-made solutions. We further believe that these factors lead to better customer engagement.
As of March 31, 2021, we had 5,608 branches and 16,087 ATMs/CDMs in 2,902 cities and towns. In addition, we had 15,756 business correspondents, which are primarily manned by CSCs. We also provide telephone, internet and mobile banking to our customers. We plan to continue to expand our banking outlet and ATM network as well as our other distribution channels, subject to regulatory guidelines/approvals.
Retail Loans and Other Asset Products
We offer a wide range of retail loans, including loans for the purchase of automobiles, personal loans, retail business banking loans, loans for the purchase of commercial vehicles and construction equipment finance, two-wheeler loans, credit cards and loans against securities. Our retail loans, of which 31.2 percent were unsecured, made up 65.0 percent of our gross loans as of March 31, 2021. Apart from our banking outlets, we use our ATMs, telephone banking, internet banking and mobile banking to promote our loan products. We perform our own credit analysis of the borrowers and the value of the collateral if the loan is secured. See “—Risk Management—Credit Risk—Retail Credit Risk”. We also buy mortgage and other asset-backed securities and invest in retail loan portfolios through assignments. In addition to taking collateral, in most cases, we obtain debit instructions/post-dated checks covering repayments at the time a retail loan is made. It is a criminal offense in India to issue a bad check. Our unsecured personal loans, which are not supported by any collateral, are a greater credit risk for us than our secured loan portfolio. We may be unable to collect in part or at all on an unsecured personal loan in the event of non-payment by the borrower. Accordingly, personal loans are granted at a higher contracted interest rate since they carry a higher credit risk as compared to secured loans. Also see “Risk Factors—Our unsecured loan portfolio is not supported by any collateral that could help ensure repayment of the loan, and in the event of non-payment by a borrower of one of these loans, we may be unable to collect the unpaid balance”.
 
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The following table shows the gross book value and percentage share of our retail credit products:
 
    
At March 31, 2021 Value
    
% of Total Value
 
    
(in millions)
        
Retail Assets:
        
Auto loans
   Rs. 964,053.2      US$ 13,180.9        12.3 %
Personal loans / Credit cards
     2,042,727.2        27,929.0        26.1 %
Retail business banking
     2,007,845.9        27,452.1        25.6 %
Commercial vehicle and construction equipment finance
     805,329.8        11,010.8        10.3 %
Housing loans
     702,235.5        9,601.3        9.0 %
Other retail loans
     1,306,641.0        17,864.9        16.7 %
Total retail loans
   Rs. 7,828,832.6      US$ 107,039.0        100.0 %
 
Note:
The figures above exclude securitized-out receivables.
Auto Loans
We offer loans at fixed interest rates for financing of new and used car purchases. In addition to our general promotional efforts, we specifically market our offerings at various customer touch points such as authorized original equipment manufacturers, dealer showrooms and outlets, authorized direct sales agents and our banking outlets, as well as actively cross-selling these products through other lending businesses of the Bank. We also market our products through outbound and inbound calls with customers, as well as through the bank’s digital touch points. Having established our presence in this business over the last two decades we believe we have consistently been a market leader and are well-equipped to serve the entire automobile ecosystem , including original equipment manufacturers, dealers and end-customers.
Personal Loans and Credit Cards
We offer unsecured loans at fixed rates to salaried individuals, self-employed professionals, small businesses and individual businessmen.
We offer credit cards from VISA, MasterCard, Diners and Rupay platforms, including gold, silver, corporate, business, platinum, titanium, signature, world, black and infinite credit cards under the classification of corporate cards, business cards, co-brand cards, premium retail cards and super premium retail cards. We had approximately 14.5 million and 15.0 million cards outstanding (
i.e.,
total credit cards in circulation) as of March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021, respectively.
We offer Easy EMI (equated monthly installments) through credit cards, debit cards and consumer loans. Easy EMI is available instantly at no extra cost across multiple product categories, including offline and online channels.
Our efforts in the payments business are continuously focused on meeting customers’ specific requirements in the most accessible and relevant manner, while simplifying transactions.
Over the past two years, we have experienced outages in our internet banking, mobile banking and payment utilities, including an outage in our internet banking and payment system in November 2020 due to a power failure in the primary data center. In response to these outages, the RBI issued an order on December 2, 2020 (the “December 2020 Order”), advising us to temporarily stop (a) all launches of the digital business-generating activities under our planned Digital 2.0 program and other proposed business-generating IT applications and (b) the sourcing of new credit card customers. The December 2020 Order also stated that these measures may be considered for lifting upon the satisfactory compliance by the Bank with the major critical observations as identified by the RBI. The RBI also appointed a third-party auditor to conduct an audit of the Bank’s systems. The audit has been completed and the auditor submitted its report to the RBI. We await further communication in connection with this matter. We have adopted preventive measures to strengthen our technology infrastructure and mitigate the risks of outages. Some of the key initiatives undertaken include the migration of core data centres in Bengaluru and Mumbai to state-of-the-art facilities which has reinforced our capability to switchover in less than 45 minutes when needed. The capacity for unified payment interface UPI has been tripled, Net Banking and Mobile Banking capacity has been doubled to manage 90,000 users concurrently (a significant step as most of our customers now rely on our digital channels for banking needs), disaster recovery drills have been completed for all critical payment systems and significant upgrades in network and security has been carried out. Also see “
Risk Factors
-
A failure, inadequacy or security breach in our information technology and telecommunication systems may adversely affect our business, results of operation or financial condition
 
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Retail Business Banking
We address the borrowing needs of the community of small businessmen primarily located within servicing range of our banking outlets by offering facilities such as credit lines, term loans for expansion or addition of facilities and discounting of receivables. We classify these business banking loans as a retail product. Such lending is typically secured with current assets as well as immovable property and fixed assets in some cases. We also offer letters of credit, guarantees and other basic trade finance products, foreign exchange and cash management services to such businesses.
Commercial Vehicles and Construction Equipment Finance
We provide secured financing for commercial vehicles and construction equipment along with working capital, trade advances, bank guarantees, and transaction banking services, among others, both traditional and digital, to entities engaged in the infrastructure and transportation businesses. In addition to funding domestic assets, we also extend financing for imported assets for which we open foreign letters of credit and offer treasury services, such as forward exchange covers. We coordinate and collaborate with original equipment manufacturers including their authorized dealers to jointly promote our financing options to their clients. We have a strong market presence in the commercial vehicle and construction equipment financing business.
Housing Loans
We provide home loans through an arrangement with our principal shareholder HDFC Limited. Under this arrangement, we source loans for HDFC Limited through our distribution channels. HDFC Limited approves and disburses the loans, which are kept on their books, and we receive a sourcing fee for these loans. We have a right, but not an obligation, to purchase up to 70 percent of the fully disbursed home loans sourced under this arrangement through either the issue of mortgage-backed pass through certificates (“PTCs”) or a direct assignment of the loans. The balance is retained by HDFC Limited.
Other Retail Loans
Two-Wheeler Loans
We offer loans for financing the purchase of mopeds, scooters and motorcycles. We market this product in ways similar to our marketing of automobile loans.
Loans Against Securities
We offer loans against equity shares, mutual fund units, bonds and other securities that are on our approved list. We limit our loans against equity shares to Rs. 2.0 million per retail customer in line with regulatory guidelines and limit the amount of our total exposure secured by particular securities. We lend only against shares in book-entry (dematerialized) form, which ensures that we obtain perfected and first-priority security interests. The minimum margin for lending against shares is prescribed by the RBI. The collateral value of the security for these loans’ is dependent on the quoted price of the security.
Loan Assignments
We purchase loan portfolios, generally in India, from other banks, financial institutions and financial companies, which are similar to asset-backed securities, except that such loans are not represented by PTCs. Some of these loans also qualify toward our directed lending obligations.
Kisan Gold Card
Under the Kisan Gold Card (“KGC”) scheme, funds are extended to farmers in accordance with the RBI’s Kisan Credit Card scheme which is aimed at financing agricultural and related credit requirements. The KGC is a credit facility of a specified amount, which is offered to farmers to finance certain requirements, including the production of crops, post-harvest repair and maintenance expenses, miscellaneous consumption needs, animal husbandry, poultry farming and maintaining fisheries. In addition to loans for recurring needs, long-term loans are granted for purposes including the purchase of farm machinery and land development activities, such as the digging of tube wells, installation of irrigation sprinklers, construction of storage facilities, and sheds for animals.
Depending on the requirements, various types of facilities are extended under KGC. These include cash credit, overdrafts, term loans, farm development loans and drop line overdraft limits. The amount of cash credit funding is based on the farmer’s cropping pattern, the amount of land used and scale of finance, while for term loans it is based on the unit cost of assets. These facilities are extended under a range of crop and geography-specific products, which are designed on the basis of the harvest cycles and the local needs of farmers spread across diverse agro-climatic zones.
Through our knowledge of rural customers’ preferences, we have established a strong footprint in rural areas and we are able to impact the lives of thousands of rural people making banking accessible to areas which lack formal sources of financial services, including credit. Our focus in rural markets is not only to increase credit uptake, but also to strengthen relationships with rural customers by empowering them. In addition to advising farmers on their financial needs, we are increasingly focusing on educating them on the benefits of various governmental and regulatory schemes, such as crop insurance and interest subvention.
 
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We also aim to cater to other financial needs of rural customers through appropriate banking products.
Loans Against Gold Jewelry
We offer loans against gold jewelry to all customer segments, including women and small and marginal farmers. Such loans are typically offered with different repayment modes, with repayment either at monthly intervals or at maturity. Collateral value is dependent on the market price of the gold and therefore these loans also have margin requirements in the event of a decrease in the value of the gold. Loans against gold jewelry are also extended to existing customers of the bank in order to cater to their additional funding needs.
We also offer loans which primarily include loans/overdrafts against time deposits, health care equipment financing loans, tractor loans and loans to self-help groups.
Retail Deposit Products
Retail deposits provide us with a low-cost, stable funding base and have been a key focus area for us since commencing operations. Retail deposits represented approximately 80.0 percent of our total deposits as of March 31, 2021. The following chart shows the book value of our retail deposits by our various deposit products:
 
    
At March 31, 2021
 
    
Value (in millions)
    
% of total
 
Savings
   Rs. 3,939,467.3      US$ 53,862.0        36.9
Current
     1,276,632.1        17,454.6        12.0
Time
     5,449,142.0        74,502.9        51.1
Total
   Rs. 10,665,241.4      US$ 145,819.5        100.0
Our individual retail account holders have access to the benefits of a wide range of direct banking services, including debit and ATM cards, access to internet, phone banking and mobile banking services, access to our growing branch and ATM network, access to our other distribution channels and eligibility for utility bill payments and other services. Our retail deposit products include the following:
 
   
Savings accounts, which are demand deposits, primarily for individuals and trusts.
 
   
Current accounts, which are non-interest-bearing accounts designed primarily for business customers. Customers have a choice to select from a wide range of product offerings which are differentiated by basis minimum average quarterly account balance requirements and nature of transactions.
 
   
Time deposits, which pay a fixed return over a predetermined time period.
We also offer special value-added accounts, which offer our customers added value and convenience. These include a time deposit account that allows for automatic transfers from a time deposit account to a savings account, as well as a time deposit account with an overdraft facility.
Other Retail Services and Products
Debit Cards
We had approximately 32.1 million and 36.7 million debit cards outstanding as of March 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021, respectively. The cards can be used at ATMs and point-of-sales terminals in India and in other countries across the world.
Individual Depositary Accounts
We provide depositary accounts to individual retail customers for holding debt and equity instruments. Securities traded on the Indian exchanges are generally not held through a broker’s account or in a street name. Instead, an individual has his or her own account with a depositary participant. Depositary participants, including us, provide services through the major depositaries established by the two major stock exchanges. Depositary participants record ownership details and effect transfers in book-entry form on behalf of the buyers and sellers of securities. We provide a complete package of services, including account opening, registration of transfers and other transactions and information reporting.
 
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Mutual Fund Sales
We are a registered distributor with the Association of Mutual Funds in India (“AMFI”). We engage in distributing mutual fund products to our customers through our staff, who are AMFI certified. We offer units of most large and reputable mutual fund houses in India to our customers. We distribute mutual fund products primarily through our banking outlets and our private banking relationship managers. We receive trail income on the new business as well as on the existing assets under management.
Insurance
HDFC Bank is registered as a corporate agent for the solicitation of life, general and health insurance business under regulations prescribed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India. Presently, we have arrangements with three life insurance companies, namely HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited, Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited and Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited, three general insurance companies, namely HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Limited, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited and Bharti AXA General Insurance Company Limited and two health insurance companies, namely AdityaBirla Health Insurance Company Limited and Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Limited. We earn commission on new premium collected as well as trail income in subsequent years in certain cases while the policy is still in force. Our commission income for fiscal 2021 included fees of Rs. 27,483.4 million in respect of life insurance business and Rs. 3,988.9 million in respect of non-life insurance business, of which Rs. 13,868.2 million was for displaying publicity materials at the Bank’s banking outlets/ATMs.
Bill Payment Services
We are a part of the Bharat Bill Payment System network and offer our customers bill payment services for all utility companies, including water, electricity, gas, telephone, direct-to-home, mobile recharge and internet service providers, as well as financial products such as insurance and mutual funds. We also offer Smartpay (autopay functionality) for all these bills. We believe this is a valuable convenience that we offer our customers. We offer these services to customers through multiple distribution channels: internet banking, mobile banking and phone banking.
Corporate Salary Accounts
We offer Corporate salary accounts to employees of corporate and government entities, enabling employees’ salaries to be credited by the entity directly or via the Bank. A salary account is a type of savings account with no minimum balance requirement in lieu of regular salary credits. Benefits, including a premium debit card and complimentary personal accident cover are provided, amongst others. We also offer salary accounts tailored for employees of the defence and government sector. As of March 31, 2021, these accounts constituted 28.7 percent of our savings deposits by value.
Non-Resident Indian Services
Non-resident Indians (NRIs) are an important target market segment for us given their relative affluence and strong ties with family members in India. Our private and premium banking programs in India are also extended to NRI clients. Relationship managers in India facilitate the banking and investment transactions of our NRI clients. Through our overseas branch in Bahrain, we offer deposits, bonds, equity, mutual funds, treasury and structured products offered by third-parties to our NRI clients. We also have referral arrangements with product/service providers for NRI clients. Our non-resident deposits amounted to Rs. 1,119.4 billion as of March 31, 2020 and Rs. 1,144.8 billion as of March 31, 2021.
Retail Foreign Exchange
We purchase foreign currency from and sell foreign currency to retail customers in the form of cash, traveler’s checks, demand drafts, foreign exchange cards and other remittances. We also carry out foreign currency check collections.
 
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Customers and Marketing
We identify and target distinct market customer segments for our retail services. Customers are at the core of all marketing initiatives of the Bank. We use advanced analytics to identify customers and offer them relevant products through their preferred channel of communication and with high levels of personalization. Our investments in advanced analytics tools have enabled us to develop a good understanding of customer behavior and customer preferences. This knowledge helps us curate personalized interventions at scale. Our marketing team uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology and customer relationship management systems to engage with new and existing customers and enable them to purchase our financial products and services with zero or minimal physical interface. We source new customers through joint marketing efforts with our wholesale banking department, such as our corporate salary account package.
Our omni channel campaign management platform enables us to conduct marketing campaigns via our website, mobile apps, e-mails, SMS, WhatsApp and social media. In addition, we launched a customer experience program, called “Infinite Smiles”, that helps establish behaviors and practices that result in customer-centric actions through improvements in product, services, processes and policies. We measure customer loyalty through a closed-loop customer feedback system. The insights we receive help us identify actionable information and implement changes to improve customer experiences and strengthen their loyalty.
We also have programs that target other specific segments of the retail market. For example, under our private and premium banking programs, the relationship managers distribute mutual funds and insurance products and provide advice related to these products. Clients seeking investment advice on alternate products are referred to HDFC Securities (a registered investment adviser regulated by SEBI IA Regulations, 2013) where a team of certified investment advisers provides this service. Customers interested in availing themselves of alternate products (such as fixed income, private equity, alternate investment funds and structures) or services such as succession planning, tax planning, trust formation and will-writing are also referred to HDFC Securities who have referral arrangements with the concerned product/service providers. As of March 31, 2021, 29 percent of our retail deposit customers contributed 64 percent of our retail deposits.
We continue to be strongly committed to financial inclusion programs that extend banking services to underserved populations. Our Sustainable Livelihood Initiative caters to lower-income individuals to finance their economic activity, and also provides skills training, credit counseling and market linkages in terms of access to, or contacts in, their local markets. Through these initiatives, we aim to reach the unbanked and underbanked segments of the Indian populations.
Wholesale Banking
Overview
We provide our corporate and institutional clients with a wide range of commercial banking products and transactional services.
Our principal commercial banking products include a range of financing products, documentary credits (primarily letters of credit) and bank guarantees, foreign exchange and derivative products, investment banking services and corporate deposit products. Our financing products include loans, overdrafts, bill discounting and credit substitutes, such as commercial paper, debentures, preference shares and other funded products. Our foreign exchange and derivatives products assist corporations in managing their currency and interest rate exposures.
In terms of commercial banking products, our customers include companies that are part of private sector business houses, public sector enterprises and multinational corporations, as well as small and mid-sized businesses. Our customers also include suppliers and distributors of corporations to whom we provide credit facilities and with whom we thereby establish relationships as part of a supply chain initiative for both our commercial banking products and transactional services. We aim to provide our corporate customers with high-quality customized service. We have relationship managers who focus on particular clients and who work with teams that specialize in providing specific products and services, such as cash management and treasury advisory services.
Loans to small and medium enterprises, which are generally loans for commercial vehicles, construction equipment and business purposes, are included as part of our retail banking business. We group these loans as part of our retail banking business considering, among other things, the customer profile, the nature of the product, the differing risks and returns, our organization structure and our internal business reporting mechanism. Such grouping ensures optimal utilization and deployment of specialized resources in our retail banking business.
Our principal transactional services include cash management services, capital markets transactional services and correspondent banking services. We provide physical and electronic payment and collection mechanisms to a range of corporations, financial institutions and Government entities. Our capital markets transactional services include custodial services for mutual funds and clearing bank services for the major Indian stock exchanges and commodity exchanges. In addition, we provide correspondent banking services, including cash management services and funds transfers, to foreign banks and co-operative banks.
 
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Commercial Banking Products
Commercial Loan Products and Credit Substitutes
Our principal financing products are working capital facilities and term loans. Working capital facilities primarily consist of cash credit facilities and bill discounting. Cash credit facilities are revolving credits provided to our customers that are secured by working capital such as inventory and accounts receivable. Bill discounting consists of short-term loans which are secured by bills of exchange that have been accepted by our customers or drawn on another bank. In many cases, we provide a package of working capital financing that may consist of loans and a cash credit facility as well as documentary credits or bank guarantees. Term loans consist of short-term loans and medium-term loans which are typically loans of up to five years in duration. Over 90.0 percent of our loans are denominated in rupees with the balance being denominated in various foreign currencies, principally the U.S. dollar.
We also purchase credit substitutes, which typically comprise commercial paper and debentures issued by the same customers with whom we have a lending relationship in our wholesale banking business. Investment decisions for credit substitute securities are subject to the same credit approval processes as loans, and we bear the same customer risk as we do for loans extended to these customers. Additionally, the yield and maturity terms are generally directly negotiated by us with the issuer.
The following table sets forth the asset allocation of our commercial loans and financing products by asset type. For accounting purposes, we classify commercial paper and debentures as credit substitutes (which, in turn, are classified as investments).
 
    
As of March 31,
 
    
2019
    
2020
    
2021
    
2021
 
    
(in millions)
 
Gross commercial loans
   Rs. 2,873,561.0      Rs. 3,583,055.2      Rs. 4,214,885.3      US$ 57,627.7  
Credit substitutes:
           
Commercial paper
   Rs. 25,734.3      Rs. 124,393.4      Rs. 9,804.1      US$ 134.1  
Non-convertible debentures
     247,152.5        237,980.3        537,472.8        7,348.5  
Total credit substitutes
   Rs. 272,886.8      Rs. 362,373.7      Rs. 547,276.9      US$ 7,482.6  
Gross commercial loans plus credit substitutes
   Rs. 3,146,447.8      Rs. 3,945,428.9      Rs. 4,762,162.2      US$ 65,110.32  
Whilst we generally lend on a cash-flow basis, we also require collateral from a large number of our borrowers. As of March 31, 2021, approximately 61.3 percent of the aggregate principal amount of our gross wholesale loans was secured by collateral (Rs. 1,631.5 billion in aggregate principal amount of loans were unsecured). However, collateral securing each individual loan may not be adequate in relation to the value of the loan. All borrowers must meet our internal credit assessment procedures, regardless of whether the loan is secured. See “
Risk Management—Credit Risk—Wholesale Credit Risk”.
We price our loans based on a combination of our own cost of funds, market rates, tenor of the loan, our rating of the customer and the overall revenues from the customer and with reference to the applicable benchmark. An individual loan is priced on a fixed or floating rate and the pricing is based on a margin that depends on, among other factors, the credit assessment of the borrower. We are required to follow the system requirements related to the interest rate on advances, issued by the RBI from time to time, while pricing our loans. For a detailed discussion of these requirements, see “Supervision and Regulation—Regulations Relating to Making Loans”.
The RBI requires banks to lend to specific sectors of the economy. For a detailed discussion of these requirements, see “Supervision and Regulation—Directed Lending”.
 
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Bill Collection, Documentary Credits and Bank Guarantees
We provide bill collection, documentary credit facilities and bank guarantees for our corporate customers. Documentary credits and bank guarantees are typically provided on an ongoing basis. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the value of transactions processed with respect to our bill collection, documentary credits and bank guarantees:
 
    
As of March 31,
 
    
2019
    
2020
    
2021
    
2021
 
           
(in millions)
        
Bill collection
     Rs.5,197,456.2        Rs.6,039,408.6        Rs.5,863,622.6      US$ 80,169.8  
Documentary credits
     1,787,206.9        1,753,159.7        1,410,029.3        19,278.5  
Bank guarantees
     313,578.3        303,348.0        420,229.2        5,745.5  
Total
     Rs.7,298,241.4        Rs.8,095,916.3        Rs.7,693,881.1      US$ 105,193.9  
Bill collection
: We provide bill collection services for our corporate clients in which we collect bills on behalf of a corporate client from the bank of our client’s customer (
i.e.
, import bill collection). Under the import bill collection system, we receive instructions from overseas banks, deal with necessary documents and effect remittances on behalf of our clients. We also provide export collection, where we receive documents from our corporate clients and send such documents to the overseas bank for collection. Once the export collection is realized, we credit our corporate clients’ accounts with the relevant amount.
Documentary credits
: We issue documentary credit facilities on behalf of our customers for trade financing, sourcing of raw materials and capital equipment purchases.
Bank guarantees:
We provide bank guarantees on behalf of our customers to guarantee their payment or performance obligations. A part of our guarantee portfolio consists of margin guarantees to brokers issued in favor of stock exchanges.
Foreign Exchange and Derivatives
Our foreign exchange and derivative product offering to our customers covers a range of products, including foreign exchange and interest rate transactions and hedging solutions, such as spot and forward foreign exchange contracts, forward rate agreements, currency swaps, currency options and interest rate derivatives. These transactions enable our customers to transfer, modify or reduce their foreign exchange and interest rate risks. A specified group of relationship managers from our treasury front office works on such product offerings in line with the customers’ risk and other requirements and within the framework of our Suitability and Appropriateness policy.
Forward exchange contracts are commitments to buy or sell fixed amounts of currency at a future date at the contracted rate. Currency swaps are commitments to exchange cash flows by way of interest in one currency against another and exchange of principal amounts at maturity based on predetermined rates. Rupee interest rate swaps are commitments to exchange fixed and floating rate cash flows in rupees without exchanging the notional principal. A forward rate agreement gives the buyer the ability to determine the underlying rate of interest for a specified period commencing on a specified future date (the settlement date) when the settlement amount is determined, being the difference between the contracted rate and the market rate on the settlement date. The underlying rate of interest could be an interest rate curve, interest rate index or bond yield. Currency options give the buyer the right, but not an obligation, to buy or sell specified amounts of currency at agreed rates of exchange on or before a specified future date.
We enter into forward exchange contracts, currency options, forward rate agreements, currency swaps and rupee interest rate swaps in the inter-bank market, broadly to support our customers’ requirements and, to a limited extent, for our own account. The following table presents the aggregate notional principal amounts of our outstanding foreign exchange and derivative contracts with our customers as of March 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, together with the fair values on each reporting date.
 
    
As of March 31,
 
    
2019
    
2020
    
2021
    
2021
 
    
Notional
    
Fair Value
    
Notional
    
Fair Value
    
Notional
    
Fair Value
    
Notional
    
Fair Value
 
                         
(In millions)
                      
Interest rate swaps and forward rate agreements
   Rs. 1,073,100.9      Rs. 698.2      Rs. 1,545,303.1      Rs. 1,404.5      Rs. 1,684,294.2      Rs. 785.5      US$ 23,028.4      US$ 10.7  
Forward exchange contracts, currency swaps, currency options
   Rs. 884,608.8      Rs. 2,416.0      Rs. 1,309,254.8      Rs. 7,532.1      Rs. 1,490,543.6      Rs. 4,275.8      US$ 20,379.3      US$ 58.5  
 
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Investment Banking
Our Investment Banking Group offers services in the debt and equity capital markets. The group has arranged project financing for clients across various sectors including telecoms, roads, healthcare, energy, real estate and cement. The group advised on aggregate issuances of over Rs. 850.0 billion worth of rupee-denominated corporate bonds across public sector undertakings, financial institutions and our corporate clients during fiscal 2021, becoming the second-largest corporate bond arranger in the market for fiscal 2021. In the equity capital markets business, the group concluded various transactions, including two initial public offerings, four qualified institutional placements, two rights issues and two share buybacks. In the advisory business, we advise clients in the infrastructure, new economy and digital, financial services, industrials and healthcare sectors.
Wholesale Deposit Products
As of March 31, 2021, we had wholesale deposits aggregating to Rs. 2,672.0 billion, which represented 20.0 percent of our total deposits. We offer both non-interest-bearing current accounts and time deposits. We are permitted to vary the interest rates on our wholesale deposits based on the size of the deposit (for deposits greater than Rs. 20.0 million), provided the rates booked on a day are the same for all customers of that deposit size for that maturity. See “
Selected Statistical Information
” for further information about our total deposits.
Transactional Services
Cash Management Services
We believe that the Indian market is one of the most promising Cash Management Services (“CMS”) markets. However, it is also marked by some distinctive characteristics and challenges such as a vast geography, a large number of small business-intensive towns, a large unorganized sector in various business supply chains, and infrastructural limitations for accessibility to many parts of the country. Over the years, such challenges have made it a daunting task for CMS providers in the country to uncover the business potential and extend suitable services and product solutions to the business community.
We are a technology-driven bank and have been providing digital CMS solutions to our customers from diverse industry segments. We believe that we have been consistently aligning our product and services strategy to meet our customers’ needs. This, we believe, has helped us to keep ahead of competitors and retain a satisfied customer base that is growing by the year.
We offer traditional and new age digital banking products and experience an increasing demand for digital banking services. While we believe that we have been one of the leading banks in the traditional CMS market, we believe that we have also been able to forge a similar position in the new age CMS market,
i.e.,
digital cash management, and we also believe that we have aligned our product offering with changing and dynamic customer needs. Currently, approximately 85 percent of our transactions are done on the electronic platform.
Today, we believe that we are a leading service provider of digital banking products with a large share of business across customer segments. We have, thus, been able to reduce our transaction costs while maintaining our fees and float levels.
Clearing Bank Services for Stock and Commodity Exchanges
We serve as a clearing bank for the equity cash and derivatives segment, currency derivatives, commodity derivatives and other segments for major stock and commodity exchanges in India, including the National Stock Exchange of India Limited, the BSE Limited, Multi Commodity Exchange and National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited. As a clearing bank, we provide the exchanges or their clearing corporations with a means for collecting payments due to them from their members or custodians and a means of making payments to these institutions. In addition to benefiting from the cash float, which reduces our overall cost of funds, we also earn interest, and generate transaction fees, and commissions by offering various fund-based and non-fund-based facilities and transactional services to the exchanges and their members.
 
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Custodial Services
We provide custodial services to domestic and foreign investors that include domestic mutual funds, portfolio managers, insurance companies, alternative investment funds and foreign portfolio investors (“FPIs”). These services include safekeeping of securities, trade settlement, collection of dividends and interest payments on securities, fund accounting services and derivatives clearing services (including currency derivatives and interest rate futures). We are registered as a designated depository participant with the local securities regulator,
i.e.,
the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and are permitted to grant registration to FPIs.
Correspondent Banking Services
We act as a correspondent bank for co-operative banks, foreign banks and certain private banks. We provide cash management services, funds transfer services, such as letters of credit, foreign exchange transactions and foreign check collection. We earn revenue on a fee-for-service basis and benefit from the cash float, which reduces our overall cost of funds.
We are well-positioned to offer this service to co-operative banks, foreign banks and select private banks in light of the structure of the Indian banking industry and our position within it. Co-operative banks are generally restricted to a particular state and foreign banks/some private banks have limited branch networks. The customers of these banks frequently need services in other areas of the country where their own banks do not operate. Because of our technology platforms, our geographical reach and the electronic connectivity of our branch network, we can provide these banks with the ability to provide such services to their customers.
Tax Collections
We have been appointed by the Government of India to collect direct taxes. In fiscal 2020 and 2021 we collected Rs. 3,005 billion and Rs. 3,028 billion, respectively, of direct taxes for the Government of India. We are also appointed to collect Goods and Services Tax (“GST”) and excise duties in India. In fiscals 2020 and 2021 we collected Rs. 1,867 billion and Rs. 1,657 billion, respectively, of such indirect taxes for the Government of India and relevant state Governments. We earn a fee from the Government of India for each tax collection and benefit from the cash float. We hope to expand our range of transactional services by providing more services to Government entities.
Treasury
Overview
Our treasury group manages our balance sheet, including our maintenance of reserve requirements and the management of market and liquidity risk. Our treasury group also provides advice and execution services to our corporate and institutional customers with respect to their foreign exchange and derivatives transactions. In addition, our treasury group seeks to optimize profits from our proprietary trading, which is principally concentrated on Indian Government securities.
Our client-based activities consist primarily of advising corporate and institutional customers and transacting spot and forward foreign exchange contracts and derivatives. Our primary customers are multinational corporations, large and medium-sized domestic corporations, financial institutions, banks and public sector undertakings. We also advise and enter into foreign exchange contracts with some small companies and NRIs.
The following describes our activities in the foreign exchange and derivatives markets, domestic money markets and debt securities desk and equities market. See also “—Risk Management” for a discussion of our management of market risk.
Foreign Exchange and Derivatives
Our treasury operations primarily include liquidity management, managing the interest rate risks in our investment portfolio along with limited proprietary trading.
Our treasury operations also include foreign exchange and derivative product offerings to our customers covering a range of products, including foreign exchange and interest rate transactions and hedging solutions, such as spot and forward exchange contracts, forward rate agreements, and derivatives. Whilst “plain vanilla” products are offered to all customer segments, derivative products are offered mostly to our wholesale customers in accordance with the RBI guidelines. A specified group of relationship managers from our treasury front office works on such product offerings in line with the customers’ risk and other requirements and within the framework of our Suitability and Appropriateness policy.
We also enter into derivative contracts not denominated in rupees. Typically the market risks arising out of such products are economically hedged in the interbank market. We also operate under a capped risk exposure to each interbank counterparty. In order to manage residual risks and for overall balance sheet management, we also undertake limited proprietary trading transactions, subject to limits approved by our board of directors (the “Board”).
 
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The following table sets out the aggregate notional principal amounts of our outstanding foreign exchange and derivative inter-bank contracts as of March 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, together with the fair values on each reporting date:
 
    
As of March 31,
 
    
2019
    
2020
    
2021
    
2021
 
    
Notional
    
Fair Value
    
Notional
    
Fair Value
    
Notional
    
Fair Value
    
Notional
    
Fair Value
 
                         
(In millions)
                      
Interest rate swaps and forward rate agreements
   Rs. 2,086,766.2      Rs. 131.0      Rs. 2,099,192.7      Rs.  (3,504.6)      Rs.  1,492,003.7      Rs.  (2,256.4)      US$ 20,399.3      US$ (30.9
Forward exchange contracts, currency swaps, currency options
   Rs. 5,156,391.8      Rs. 829.9      Rs. 5,276,918.2      Rs. 322.6    Rs. 3,913,667.3      Rs.  (278.2)    US$ 53,509.3      US$ (3.8
Domestic Money Market and Debt Securities Desk
Our principal activity in the domestic money market and debt securities market is to ensure that we comply with our reserve requirements including Liquidity Coverage Ratio (“LCR”). These consist of a cash reserve ratio, which we meet by maintaining balances with the RBI, and a statutory liquidity ratio, which we meet by purchasing Indian Government securities. See also “Supervision and Regulation—Legal Reserve Requirements”. The Bank meets the LCR requirement by maintaining an adequate level of high-quality liquid assets mainly government securities above its mandated statutory requirements. See also “Supervision and Regulation—Regulations on Asset Liability Management”. Our local currency desk primarily trades Indian Government securities for our own account. We also participate in the inter-bank call deposit market and engage in limited trading of other debt instruments.
Equities Market
We trade a limited amount of equities of Indian companies for our own account as part of the equity trading portfolio of our treasury operations, which are specified in the approved list of equity universe that is reviewed at least on a quarterly basis or on a need-based basis as mandated in the Bank’s internal policy. As of March 31, 2021, we had an internal aggregate approved limit of Rs. 500 million for proprietary equity trading, which included Rs. 100 million (defined as a sub-limit of the aggregate approved limit) for primary purchases of equity investments for proprietary trading and Rs. 100 million (defined as a sub-limit of the aggregate approved limit) for investment in index funds or equity mutual funds for proprietary trading. We set limits on the amount invested in any individual company as well as a stop-loss trigger level and a value-at-risk limit for the proprietary equity trading portfolio. Our exposure as of March 31, 2021 was within these limits.
In addition, we had long-term and strategic investments in equities and equity-linked instruments within the board-approved quantum for such investments. All such investments are carried out after review and approval of the proposal by the investment committee and the board, if applicable.
Distribution Channels
We deliver our products and services through a variety of distribution channels, including banking outlets, direct sales agents, ATMs, telephone, mobile and internet banking.
Banking Outlets
Our banking outlets are comprised of branches and business correspondents. As of March 31, 2021, we had a total of 5,608 branches covering 2,902 cities and towns. In addition, we had 15,756 business correspondents, which are primarily manned by CSCs. All of our banking outlets are electronically linked so that our customers can access their accounts from any banking outlet regardless of where they have their accounts.
Almost all of our banking outlets focus exclusively on providing retail services and products, though a few also provide wholesale banking services. The range of products and services available at each banking outlet depends in part on the size and location of the banking outlet. We offer various banking services to our customers through our arrangements with correspondent banks and exchange houses in overseas locations.
 
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As part of its banking outlet licensing conditions, the RBI requires that at least 25.00 percent of all incremental banking outlets added during the year be located in unbanked rural areas that do not have a brick and mortar structure of any scheduled commercial bank for customer-based banking transactions. As per the guidelines of the RBI, a rural area is defined as a center with a population up to 9,999. As of March 31, 2021, 5,198 of our banking outlets (including banking outlets manned by the CSCs) are in unbanked areas. With the objective of liberalizing and rationalizing the branch licensing process, the RBI granted general permission, effective from October 2013, to banks like us to open banking outlets in Tier 1 to Tier 6 centers, subject to a requirement to report to the RBI and other prescribed conditions. In May 2017, the RBI further liberalized the branch authorization policy. See “Supervision and Regulation—Regulations Relating to the Opening of Banking Outlets”.
We have overseas banking outlets in Bahrain, Hong Kong and the Dubai International Finance Centre (“DIFC”). These banking outlets cater to the needs of our overseas clients, both corporate and individual. They offer banking, trade finance and wealth management (primarily for non-resident individual customers). In addition, we have representative offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Nairobi. We also have a presence in the International Financial Service Centre Banking Unit at the Gujarat International FinanceTec-City (“GIFT City”) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. This unit operates in a similar fashion to our foreign banking outlets and customers are able to purchase products such as trade credits and foreign currency term loans, including external commercial borrowings and derivatives to hedge loans. Our unit in GIFT City is regulated and supervised by the RBI.
Automated Teller Machines
As of March 31, 2021, we had 16,087 ATMs/CDMs, of which 7,838 were located at our banking outlets or extension counters and 8,249 were located off-site with access to the general public.
Customers can use our ATMs for a variety of functions, including withdrawing cash, monitoring bank balances, mobile recharge/top-up, and cardless cash withdrawals. Customers can access their accounts from any of the HDFC Bank ATMs or non-HDFC Bank ATMs. ATM cards issued by American Express or other banks in the Rupay, Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, JCB, UPI, Cirrus, Citrus or Discover Financial Services networks can be used in our ATMs and we receive a fee for each transaction. Our debit cards issued with respective networks (Rupay/VISA/MasterCard) can be used at ATMs of other banks for which we pay the acquiring bank a fee. Our customers can use our CDMs for a variety of functions, including cash deposits, cash withdrawals and monitoring bank balances.
Telephone Banking
We provide telephone banking services to our customers in 2,902 cities and towns as at March 31, 2021. Customers can access their accounts over the phone through our 24-hour automated voice response system and can conduct balance and transaction inquiries, order check books and order stop payments of checks. In certain cities, we also have staff available during select hours to assist customers who want to speak directly to one of our telephone bankers. In select cities, customers can also engage in financial transactions such as opening deposits.
Mobile Banking
Our mobile banking application is specially designed to help our customers manage their banking needs more efficiently. With a secure access and an intuitive, multi-feature design, the application provides our customers with an improved banking experience. Our mobile banking application is designed for an era where our customers can get most of their banking needs serviced on their mobile phones, from sending money (via the national electronic funds transfer (“NEFT”), immediate payment service and unified payment interface (“UPI”) to managing accounts, bills and investments. We believe that banking with our mobile banking application is easy, convenient and secure.
Internet Banking
Our internet banking platform is convenient, comprehensive and safe, enabling our customers to bank 24/7 from the comfort of their home or office. Users can perform the majority of banking transactions online and be assured of the highest levels of security standards. The platform provides several different services, including viewing balances and statements, fund transfers, payment of bills, opening term and recurring deposit accounts, mobile and direct-to-home recharges, ordering check books and online shopping.
Payment Wallets
PayZapp aims to make digital payments safe. PayZapp provides a comprehensive solution for all payment, banking and financial requirements for our internal and external customers. It offers a platform for making different types of payments, including grocery, food delivery, shopping, mobile and direct-to-home recharges, rent payments, FASTag recharge and utility bills. Using PayZapp, customers can also apply for a credit card or a personal loan, send money to others and transfer money to a bank account.
 
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Digital Banking
In order to advance our digital banking capabilities, we have a dedicated digital innovation team responsible for researching and experimenting with technology. We have built a varied enterprise ecosystem and are making progress in transitioning from the traditional product-oriented approach to a customer-oriented approach. We seek to enable differentiated experiences through applications such as SmartBuy, which we believe is India’s first bank-initiated marketplace offering deals across key categories, including travel, hotels, e-shopping, among others and PayZapp which is our comprehensive mobile payment solution. In addition we seek to improve our customers’ experience using APIs that allow for the seamless and secure exchange of information between the Bank’s systems and third-parties, making our products and services available to all our merchants and on platforms that our customers prefer. Finally, we also utilize analytics that help us improve our customer acquisition and retention. We believe that our direct banking platforms are stable and robust, enabling new ways to connect with our customers to cross-sell various products and improve customer retention. Our product innovations include pre-approved personal loans for salaried accounts granted in as little as 10 seconds and “Digital Loan Against Securities, among others.
In 2017, we began virtual relationship banking to engage with customers through technology, which has since become a fully-fledged customer engagement channel, providing end-to-end services. We have over 5.6 million customers engaged through virtual relationship management. In addition, we have also begun utilizing artificial intelligence (“AI”) technologies. Our virtual assistant EVA, which we believe is India’s first AI-enabled assistant, is capable of both acquiring and servicing customers, as well as processing banking transactions. EVA has also been extended to several other platforms, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and WhatsApp. Furthermore we extensively use robotic process automation to automate backend processes, resulting in higher productivity and reduced turnaround times. In what we believe to be another industry-first, we launched myApps, a suite of applications, in fiscal 2020. myApps offers digital payment modes and other value-added services for four key segments: smart cities, housing societies, clubs and religious institutions to enable digitization of their ecosystem.
During fiscal 2020, we were recognized for our commitment to technology, including being awarded the Nasscom DSCI Excellence Awards 2019 for best security practices in the banking sector, the Business Today – Money Today Financial Award 2019 for best fintech engagement and the Dun & Bradstreet Bank Tech Award 2020 for best use of banking technology for data analytics/BI/Big data. We believe our “Experiential Leadership” strategy and culture of innovation and development will be a crucial strength in remaining competitive in the years to come.
In fiscal 2021, in order to help customers access banking facilities seamlessly irrespective of location, we actively participated in the Account Aggre