Tue, 05 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], September 26 (ANI): Axis Bank plans to open 500 branches in the current financial year 2023-24, against the 400 it had announced earlier.

Of these to-be-opened branches, 50 per cent would be in rural and semi-urban areas, Amitabh Chaudhry, managing director and chief executive officer of Axis Bank said after the opening of its 5,000th branch located in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

Chaudhry said the bank is not seeing signs of stress at the macro level"We are not seeing any stress. I think the banks have a healthier balance sheet than they have ever had. If there is any kind of deterioration, I am sure they can absorb it," he said.

"No signs of stress as yet. Yes, people have been pushing themselves on the retail banking side and you are seeing some group of borrowers where stress is building up but that was expected."On interest rates, he said,"Inflation still remains high. Oil prices have gone up. I think as we said earlier, we are in for a long pause. I do not think interest rates are going to be cut till the elections. Let's see because the mandate for RBI is to keep inflation at 4 per cent and we are not seeing that yet.""If you see commentary coming out of the US, they are saying that Fed rates again may firm up rather than remaining steady," he said.

RBI in its past three meetings- April, June, and August -- held the repo rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent. The repo rate is the rate of interest at which RBI lends to other banks.

Speaking on attrition, he said it is a problem all kinds of industries are facing and not just limited to financial services.

"Indian young population has a lot of choices and they are making those choices. My worry is that for choices only determinant seems to be money. It is what it is. Yes, we have attrition rate which during covid times was subdued and post covid it has picked up.""The largest banks have been in the zone of 30-35 per cent as far as attrition is concerned. Frontline attrition is higher and as we go down in terms of banking, the attrition just rises further. All the banks. Not just us. We know it is a problem. All the boards are aware of the problem. All of us are working very hard that this comes down but it is something which is a reality.""Lot of the people are not willing to do the sales job and take the pressure which the sales job typically brings. So, on one side we are trying very hard to understand, appreciate what is bothering our employees to look. On the other side we appreciate that attrition is not going to go away in ahurry. We are working very hard. One of the key mandates for our HR and management teams is to manage attrition. But it is a problem," he added. (ANI)

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