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StanChart bets big on credit cards

Calcutta, Aug. 13: Standard Chartered Bank is planning to launch a whole range of credit cards aimed at the affluent this financial year.

The bank is trying to bring down the delinquency level, which is on a par with the industry standard of 6 to 8 per cent.

“In the next three to four months we will launch a whole range of credit cards for the affluent. Each of the cards will provide a specific service,” Viraj Tyagi, business head-credit cards told The Telegraph.

Tyagi said the credit card market is growing at a rate of 20-25 per cent.

“At StanChart too, we are seeing a similar growth in the credit card business,” he said.

The bank has an outstanding of 1.8 million credit cards as on June 30. The bank issues 60,000 to 65,000 cards on a monthly basis.

On delinquency in the credit card business, Tyagi said, in the last three years StanChart has done enough work to bring down the figure. “We are constantly working on how to address the problem,” he said.

Internationally, delinquency in the credit card business is 3-4 per cent. However, Tyagi feels it will be difficult for any bank in India to achieve such a figure.

The Reserve Bank had earlier raised questions on the way the credit card business is being handled by banks.

The central bank was concerned about the telecalling system the banks have put in place to convince customers to take credit cards.

“We are fully complying with RBI’s suggestions and doing whatever can be done to improve the condition,” Tyagi said.

The bank launched Manhattan ' a lifestyle credit card ' in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in September last year.

In the first six months, the Manhattan card’s offtake was 100,000.

Manhattan is a lifestyle credit card offered free for life and with no annual fee. The interest on the card is 1.99 per cent.

Research says Manhattan meets the aspirational needs of its consumers by providing a choice of customised lifestyle experiences in travel and adventure, cuisine, health and fitness and entertainment.

StanChart has also introduced the card in Calcutta, Chennai and Pune and hopes to achieve 200,000 figure by December 2005.

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