HDFC Bank headcount falls for second quarter in a row, down by 6,100 in Q4

For the second successive quarter, there was a massive drop in HDFC Bank's headcount that came down by over 6,000 to 84,325 owing to increased digitalisation in the March quarter and it expects the trend to continue.

The second largest private lender's senior management hinted this trend of falling staff strength may continue as greater efficiencies set in.

"This is really a function of...What is happening on the digital side. We do believe that with increased digitisation, certain lines of transaction like counters etc actually reduce," deputy managing director Paresh Sukthankar told reporters in Mumbai.

The bank's total headcount came down by 6,096 during the January-March 2017 period - from 90,421 to 84,325 - which was one of the main drivers for the massive improvement in the cost-to-income ratio to 42.4 per cent from 44.9 per cent a year ago.

In the preceding October-December 2016 quarter, the headcount had come down by 4,581 employees, which helped in the cost-to-income ratio improve to 43.8 per cent.

Sukthankar explained that while digital technologies, which helped the bank introduce products like instant personal loans, help reduce reliance on people, network expansion requires additional manpower.

"Natural attrition" leads to drive down the total number of employees as newer hands are not hired as replacements for those who have resigned, he said. "We still believe there is room to continue to go down that path."

It is understood that the bank has an attrition level of 21-22 per cent per year, which is within the industry average.

The bank's staff strength reached a peak in September 2016 at 95,002 employees.

In fiscal 2017, the bank's headcount declined by 3,230 to 84,325, while the same had increased by 10,729 in the previous fiscal.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel