ABN Amro Bank NV slowly is shutting down its credit card business in India, an official from the Dutch lender’s India operations tells PaymentsSource on the condition of anonymity.

“Most of the staff, especially the ones selling cards, are being laid off,” he says. “Out of our roughly 3,000 people engaged in consumer finance, 500 have already left.”

ABN Amro, which is a part of Royal Bank of Scotland NV, has seen the annual revenue of its consumer-finance division drop from 23 billion rupees (US$496.7 million or 364.7 million euros) in 2008 to roughly 12 billion rupees in 2009.

RBS is selling or shutting down businesses designated as noncore in select markets, according to local news reports. As a part of this move, the bank has decided to discontinue the issuance of fresh credit card or unsecured loans in India, the reports add.

ABN Amro had approximately 1.3 million credit cardholders as of March 2009, according to India-based payments processing firm Venture Infotek. The issuer now has about 1 million cardholders, Mrinalini Manral, an analyst with Mumbai-based research firm Dassler Business Intelligence, tells PaymentsSource.

“Clearly, the credit card market in India is not as attractive as it was [before the economic] slowdown,” she adds. “RBS’s decision demonstrates that.”

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