How Much Money Leading Indian Banks Are Making?

Shyam Sewag
7 min readMay 6, 2021

How Much Money Leading Indian Banks Are Making?

In one of the blog posts, I explained the sources through which banks make their money. This post will look at exactly how profitable or loss-making the banking business really is. We have often heard banks keep complaining about the NPA (Non-Performing Assets). I have selected 5 leading banks in India and gathered information about their financial performance for the last 5 years. The list includes public as well as private sector banks. It is important to know how much money Indian banks are making to understand the macroeconomic impact it can have on the economy.

Here Are The Details About How Much Money Leading Indian Banks Are Making:

State Bank Of India (SBI)

State Bank of India (SBI) a Fortune 500 company, is an Indian Multinational, Public Sector Banking and Financial services statutory body headquartered in Mumbai. It has a rich heritage and legacy of over 200 years. As a result, this is the most trusted bank by Indians (residing in and out of India).

SBI holds 1/4th Market Share in the banking sector from the market share perspective. To understand the scope of SBI we have to consider more than 22000 branches, more than 58000 ATMs, and a customer base of more than 44 Crore customers. Memes apart, the SBI focuses on innovation and customer-centricity.

To fulfill its commitments of serving the general public’s needs and provide better services to meet their dynamic demand, SBI has successfully diversified its businesses through 11 subsidiaries including Insurance, Mutual Funds, Credit Cards, etc. SBI is not just a bank, it’s an embodiment of trust that banks need to have. SBI has its offices spread across the world and an active presence in 32 countries so far.

Here is a snapshot of the financial performance of SBI over the last 5 years:

As you can observe, there have been many ups and downs over the last 5 years, and there are numerous reasons for that. As it is a public bank, we can understand that its primary focus is on providing better services rather than making huge profits.


The Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC) was among the first financial institutions in India which received an “in principle” approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a bank in the private sector.

HDFC was incorporated in August 1994, but it commenced operations in January 1995. The bank’s mission is to be a world-class Indian bank with a two-fold objective: the first, to be the preferred provider of banking services for target retail and wholesale customer segments. The second objective is to achieve healthy growth in profitability, consistent with the bank’s risk appetite. HDFC Bank’s business philosophy is based on five core values: Operational Excellence, Customer Focus, Product Leadership, People, and Sustainability.

The headquarter of the bank is in Mumbai. To understand this bank’s business scope, we have to consider the network of more than 5480 branches across 2866 cities. In addition to that, the bank operates in a highly automated environment. The bank relies upon its technology to provide better services to its customer base. Customers enjoy the facilities such as phone banking, internet banking, mobile banking, etc.

Here is a snapshot of last 5 year’s financial performance of the bank:

The years of effort that the bank has put in reflects financial performance. If you compare this with the performance of SBI you will get an essence of what level of competition private banks like HDFC have given to the public sector banks.


ICICI was formed in 1955 at the World Bank initiative, the Government of India, and representatives of Indian industry. The principal objective was to create a development financial institution for providing medium-term and long-term project financing to Indian businesses. ICICI Bank was incorporated in 1994 as a part of the ICICI group. In 1999, ICICI became the first Indian company and the first bank or a financial institution from non-Japan Asia to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Currently, ICICI Bank is one of India’s leading private sector banks. It currently has a network of 5,288 branches and 15,158 ATMs across India. It offers a wide range of banking products and financial services to corporate and retail customers through a variety of delivery channels and its group companies. These group companies include household names like ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company, ICICI Venture, etc.

Here is a snapshot of last 5 year’s financial performance of ICICI Bank:

Bank Of India

Bank of India was founded on 7th September 1906 by a group of eminent businessmen from Mumbai. The Bank was under private ownership and control till July 1969 when it was nationalized along with 13 other banks. Currently, the Bank has over 5000 branches in India spread over all states/ union territories including specialized branches. Presently the bank has an overseas presence in 18 foreign countries spread over 5 continents with 52 offices including 4 Subsidiaries, 1 Representative Office, and 1 Joint Venture, at key banking and financial centers:- Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Paris, and New York.

Here is a snapshot of the 5 year financial performance of Bank Of India:

Like the SBI, BOI has also gone through ups and downs over the years. This can be said for the majority of the public sector banks as they do not aim towards profit maximization. Customer centricity is at the core of banking function and the public sector banks thrive to maintain the same even at the cost of losing profit-making opportunities.

Kotak Mahindra Bank

The Kotak Group has been in business for 35 years whereas the Kotak Mahindra Bank for 17 years now. The financial services of the Bank have a wide reach across 1,600 branches in India. Globally, Kotak serves the multiple financial services needs — banking (consumer, commercial, corporate), credit and financing, equity broking, wealth and asset management, insurance (general and life), and investment banking — of individuals and corporations.

The scope of the bank can be understood by its presence across India and some foreign countries. The bank serves an active customer base of more than 23 million customers. At present, the bank has over 1600 branches with more than 70000 employees and more than 2500 ATMs.

Here is a snapshot of Kotak Mahindra Bank’s financial performance over the last 5 years:

As it can be observed, just like HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank also has a steady track record of profits through its business. With the constant drive towards making the banking functions convenient for its customer, the private banks leave the public sector banks miles behind in the competition.

Bank Of The Banks — RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the apex financial body of the country. It has the responsibility of formulating fiscal policies and regulate the credit in the economy. Along with that, there is a long list of operations that RBI has to take care of.

The RBI was established on April 1, 1935, in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. The Central Office of the Reserve Bank was initially established in Kolkata but was permanently moved to Mumbai in 1937. The Central Office is where the Governor sits and where policies are formulated. Though originally privately owned, since nationalization in 1949, the Reserve Bank is fully owned by the Government of India.

But at the core, it is still a bank and hence it also maintains financial statements through which we come to know about the financial performance of RBI. Though it does not cater to the common public like a commercial bank, its customers include various banks and even state and central government.

Here is a snapshot of RBI’s last 5-year financial performance:

As you can observe from the particulars, the RBI does not retain the profits/surplus that it makes. It transfers a small fraction to its reserves and transfers the rest to the Central Government.



Shyam Sewag

Budding blogger. Interested in finance and global economic affairs.