Girish Chandra Chaturvedi

During fiscal 2022, ICICI Bank stayed committed to its articulated strategy of targeting risk-calibrated growth in core operating profit, while ensuring resilience against potential risks and being well- poised to capitalise on market opportunities.

Fiscal 2022 was marked by a strong recovery in economic activities, bringing to the fore the inherent strengths in the Indian economy. Despite the setback from the Covid-19 pandemic earlier, and with variants of the virus and localised lockdowns during the year, the Indian economy was resilient and saw a strong rebound and progress towards normalcy. The recovery in the Indian economy was broad-based, and supported by the rollout of the vaccination programme. Amidst these positive developments, however, the year ended with new challenges of high energy prices and inflation, geopolitical tensions, supply side disruptions and a likely slowdown in global growth. Nonetheless, we remain optimistic on India’s potential.

During fiscal 2022, ICICI Bank stayed committed to its articulated strategy of targeting risk-calibrated growth in core operating profit, while ensuring resilience against potential risks and being well-poised to capitalise on market opportunities. The strong financial performance and portfolio quality that the Bank has delivered in the last three years demonstrates the efficacy of the strategy. The healthy growth in core operating profit and profit after tax in fiscal 2022 reflect the strong underlying performance of the business. The Bank grew its market share across key segments, while maintaining credit discipline and a robust balance sheet. The decline in credit costs during the year was a further pointer to the effective risk management framework adopted by the Bank over the last few years.

A key focal point for business growth is to create value for customers. The Bank is pursuing this through a customer-centric approach, underlined by the principles of ‘Fair to Customer, Fair to Bank’ and ‘One Bank, One ROE’. These value drivers lend confidence to the Bank’s focus on ‘customer-360’ and becoming a trusted financial partner for its clients. However, the dynamism, creativity and commitment of our employees are a key driver of the Bank’s success. Working as one team to serve customers and facilitating cross-functional collaboration will differentiate the Bank and enable value-unlocking of our franchise.

A core enabler to meet the Bank’s strategic objectives is technology. The initiatives in developing a strong technology architecture, the focus on platforms and digitisation, and continuous investments in innovations and security features are enabling the Bank to respond to the needs of customers with agility. The Bank’s mobile applications, iMobile Pay and InstaBIZ, have now become universal and open architecture, enabling the Bank to expand the number of people and businesses that it can serve. In today’s dynamic environment, it is imperative to be responsive to new technologies, digital processes and design customer digital journeys with speedy time-to-market. The Bank’s competencies will only strengthen as it progresses on transforming from Bank to BankTech.

The Bank made further progress in the area of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), with the adoption of a Board-approved ESG policy and formalising Board oversight on ESG by including it within the remit of the Risk Committee. Further, to understand the ESG considerations of stakeholders, the Bank undertook a survey to identify ESG issues believed to be material for the Bank by our stakeholders. The top five issues that emerged were compliance with regulations and other laws, digital innovation/transformation, data privacy and cybersecurity, corporate governance & business ethics, and transparency & disclosures. An approach to integrate ESG and climate change risks in the Bank’s lending and risk management has also been developed. The Bank will remain cognizant of the structural shifts in a decarbonising world, and will aim to build mitigants while capitalising on the opportunities that would emerge within India’s national goals and commitments.

The Bank endeavours to promote long-term sustainable growth in the economy through responsible corporate citizenship. The dedicated focus of ICICI Foundation on creating a positive social and environmental impact has led to several projects being undertaken across the country. The efforts made in the areas of healthcare and environmental sustainability, especially in rural and remote areas, have yielded positive impact.

The Board is committed to maintaining highest standards of corporate governance and will continue to review and strengthen these practices. During the year, the Board approved the Risk and Compliance Culture Policy, anchored on five key principles. The Board and its Committees conducted regular reviews to assess the Bank’s response to opportunities and challenges and evaluating the impact on the business and loan portfolio. Ensuring organisational resilience and responsiveness to the evolving technological developments and cybersecurity are priority areas of focus. The Board will continue to maintain integrity, fairness and transparency in our engagement with all our stakeholders.

Looking ahead, uncertainties have resurfaced as economies will have to tackle issues of inflation, monetary policy actions and tightening global liquidity conditions. A slowdown in global economic growth seems inevitable in the immediate period, with likely spill over to India. The Bank will focus on remaining strong and resilient while seeking to maintain sustainable, risk-calibrated and profitable growth in business.

We would like to thank all our stakeholders and look forward to your continued support.

With best wishes,

Girish Chandra Chaturvedi