India cenbank allows HDFC Bank to issue new credit cards -source

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The headquarters of India's HDFC bank is pictured in Mumbai, India, December 4, 2015. To match interview HDFC BANK-OUTLOOK/ REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

BENGALURU, Aug 17 (Reuters) - India's central bank has allowed HDFC Bank (HDBK.NS) to issue new credit cards, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters, months after it curbed some of the lender's operations due to outages in its digital payment services.

However, the Reserve Bank of India's ban on the bank introducing new digital initiatives will continue, the source said.

HDFC Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

With 14.83 million credit cards, or over 20% of total bank credit cards, HDFC Bank was the largest issuer of cards at the end of June, despite regulatory restrictions, according to the RBI's latest data.

In December last year, the central bank had forbidden HDFC Bank, India's largest private lender, from adding new credit card customers or launching digital businesses after there were a few instances of its digital payment services being hit by power failures.

In the last few months, other banks including ICICI Bank have expanded their credit card issuance in India. As of June, ICICI Bank had 11 million credit cards, up from about 10 million in January.

Reporting by Nupur Anand in Mumbai; additional reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru and Manoj Kumar in New Delhi; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Steve Orlofsky

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