Bank deposits contract in the post Diwali fortnight

Banks deposits contracted by over a lakh crore in the post Diwali fortnight as investors applied in huge amounts for the big ticket IPOs lined up during the fortnight ended November 19

Aggregate deposits in the banking system dipped Rs 2.67 lakh crore during the fortnight ended November 19 to Rs 157.8 lakh crore, latest RBI data indicates. Both demand and term deposits contracted sharply during the fortnight by Rs 1.52 lakh crore and Rs 2.67 crore respectively.

Analysts attribute this largely to investors using the money parked in banks to apply for many big ticket IPOs during the fortnight. These included PayTM, Sapphire Foods and among others. “The sharp contraction in deposits during the fortnight is probably driven by withdrawal for IPOs ” said an economist with a foreign bank. “There was a big jump in deposits in the previous fortnight.”

But on a long-term basis deposits continue to post a strong growth despite banks lowering interest rates earned on them. Weighted average term deposit rates have fallen by over 50 basis points-bps over the last one year. Yet, the year-on-year deposit growth is 9.8 per cent as of November 19, as bank deposits continue to be a risk free avenue of investment for savers. It is reckoned that bank deposits account for nearly half of household financial savings in India as they have been typically risk averse. But this mind-set is slowly changing, experts say.

As for credit, there was a modest pick-up of Rs 1,158 core during the fortnight. But on a long-term basis, banks are seeing a pick-up in loan demand as economic activity picks up following easing of lockdown induced restrictions. On a year-on-year basis, credit growth worked out to 6.9 per cent as of November 19, compared to less than 6 per cent a few years ago.

As per the latest data on sectoral deployment of bank credit, loans to large corporates rose 0.5 per cent (on a year-on-year basis) to Rs 22.7 lakh crore in October compared to a contraction of 1.8 per cent a year ago. All major segments except services including agriculture, industry and retail posted higher growth rates over previous year.

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