Report on the Audit of the Standalone Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying standalone financial statements of HDFC Bank Limited (“the Bank”), which comprise the Balance sheet as at March 31, 2019, the Profit and Loss Account, the Cash Flow Statement for the year then ended, and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information.
In our opinion and to the best of our information and according to the explanations given to us, the aforesaid standalone financial statements give the information required by the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 as well as the Companies Act, 2013 (“the Act”) in the manner so required for banking companies and give a true and fair view in conformity with the accounting principles generally accepted in India, of the state of affairs of the Bank as at March 31, 2019, its profit and its cash flows for the year ended on that date.
Basis for Opinion
We conducted our audit of the standalone financial statements in accordance with the Standards on Auditing (SAs), as specified under section 143(10) of the Act. Our responsibilities under those Standards are further described in the ‘Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Standalone Financial Statements’ section of our report. We are independent of the Bank in accordance with the ‘Code of Ethics’ issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India together with the ethical requirements that are relevant to our audit of the standalone financial statements under the provisions of the Act and the Rules thereunder, and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements and the Code of Ethics. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion on the standalone financial statements.
Key Audit Matters
Key audit matters are those matters that, in our professional judgment, were of most significance in our audit of the standalone financial statements for the financial year ended March 31, 2019. These matters were addressed in the context of our audit of the standalone financial statements as a whole, and in forming our opinion thereon, and we do not provide a separate opinion on these matters. For each matter below, our description of how our audit addressed the matter is provided in that context.
We have determined the matters described below to be the key audit matters to be communicated in our report. We have fulfilled the responsibilities described in the “Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Standalone Financial Statements” section of our report, including in relation to these matters. Accordingly, our audit included the performance of procedures designed to respond to our assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the standalone financial statements. The results of our audit procedures, including the procedures performed to address the matters below, provide the basis for our audit opinion on the accompanying standalone financial statements.
Key audit matters
How our audit addressed the key audit matter
Identification of Non-performing advances and provisioning of advances:
Advances constitute a significant portion of the Bank’s assets and the quality of these advances is measured in terms of ratio of Non-Performing Advances (“NPA”) to the gross advances of the Bank. The Bank’s net advances constitute 65.84 % of the total assets and the gross NPA ratio of the Bank is 1.36% as at March 31, 2019.
The Reserve Bank of India’s (“RBI”) guidelines on Income recognition and asset classification (“IRAC”) prescribe the prudential norms for identification and classification of NPAs and the minimum provision required for such assets. The Bank is also required to apply its judgement to determine the identification and provision required against NPAs by applying quantitative as well as qualitative factors. The risk of identification of NPAs is affected by factors like stress and liquidity concerns in certain sectors.
The provisioning for identified NPAs is estimated based on ageing and classification of NPAs, recovery estimates, value of security and other qualitative factors and is subject to the minimum provisioning norms specified by RBI.
Additionally, the Bank makes provisions on exposures that are not classified as NPAs including advances in certain sectors and identified advances or group advances that can potentially slip into NPA. These are classified as contingency provisions.
The Bank has detailed its accounting policy in this regard in Schedule 17- Significant accounting policies under note C- 2 Advances.
Since the identification of NPAs and provisioning for advances require significant level of estimation and given its significance to the overall audit, we have ascertained identification and provisioning for NPAs as a key audit matter.
The audit procedures performed, among others, included:
- Considering the Bank’s policies for NPA identification and provisioning and assessing compliance with the IRAC norms.
- Understanding, evaluating and testing the design and operating effectiveness of key controls (including application controls) around identification of impaired accounts based on the extant guidelines on IRAC.
- Performing other procedures including substantive audit procedures covering the identification of NPAs by the Bank. These procedures included:
- Considering testing of the exception reports generated from the application systems where the advances have been recorded.
- Considering the accounts reported by the Bank and other Banks as Special Mention Accounts (“SMA”) in RBI’s central repository of information on large credits (CRILC) to identify stress.
- Reviewing account statements and other related information of the borrowers selected based on quantitative and qualitative risk factors.
- Performing inquiries with the credit and risk departments to ascertain if there were indicators of stress or an occurrence of an event of default in a particular loan account or any product category which need to be considered as NPA. Examining the early warning reports generated by the Bank to identify stressed loan accounts.
- Holding specific discussions with the management of the Bank on sectors where there is perceived credit risk and the steps taken to mitigate the risks to identified sectors.
With respect to provisioning of advances, we performed the following procedures:
- Gained an understanding of the Bank’s process for provisioning of advances.
- Tested on a sample basis the calculation performed by the management for compliance with RBI regulations and internally laid down policies for provisioning.
- For loan accounts, where the Bank made provisions which were not classified as NPA, we reviewed the Bank’s assessment for these provisions.
Evaluation of open tax litigations (Direct and Indirect Tax)
The Bank has material open tax litigations including matters under dispute which involve significant judgment to determine the possible outcome of these disputes.
Since the assessment of these open tax litigations requires significant level of judgement, we have included this as a key audit matter.
- Gained an understanding of the Bank’s process for determining tax liabilities and the tax provisions.
- Involved direct and indirect tax specialists to understand the evaluation of likelihood and level of liability for significant tax risks after considering legal precedence, other rulings and new information in respect of open tax positions as at reporting date.
- Agreed underlying tax balances to supporting documentation, including correspondence with tax authorities.
- Assessed the disclosures within the standalone financial statements in this regard.
Information Technology (“IT”) Systems and Controls
The reliability and security of IT systems plays a key role in the business operations of the Bank. Since large volume of transactions are processed daily, the IT controls are required to ensure that applications process data as expected and that changes are made in an appropriate manner. These systems also play a key role in the financial accounting and reporting process of the Bank.
Due to the pervasive nature and complexity of the IT environment we have ascertained IT systems and controls as a key audit matter.
- For testing the IT general controls, application controls and IT dependent manual controls, we involved IT specialists as part of the audit. The team also assisted in testing the accuracy of the information produced by the Bank’s IT systems.
- Tested the design and operating effectiveness of the Bank’s IT access controls over the information systems that are critical to financial reporting. We tested IT general controls (logical access, change management and aspects of IT operational controls). This included testing that requests for access to systems were appropriately reviewed and authorized.
- Tested the Bank’s periodic review of access rights. We inspected requests of changes to systems for appropriate approval and authorisation. We considered the control environment relating to various interfaces, configuration and other application layer controls identified as key to the audit.
- In addition to the above, the design and operating effectiveness of certain automated controls that were considered as key internal controls over financial reporting were tested.
- Tested compensating controls and performed alternate procedures, where necessary. In addition, understood where relevant, changes made to the IT landscape during the audit period and tested those changes that had a significant impact on financial reporting.
Information Other than the Standalone Financial Statements and Auditor’s Report Thereon
The Bank’s Board of Directors is responsible for the other information. The other information received by us comprises the information included in the Basel III - Pillar 3 disclosures and graphical representation of financial highlights (but does not include the financial statements and our auditor’s reports thereon), which we obtained prior to the date of this auditor’s report, and Annual Report, which is expected to be made available to us after that date.
Our opinion on the standalone financial statements does not cover the other information and we do not express any form of assurance conclusion thereon.
In connection with our audit of the standalone financial statements, our responsibility is to read the other information identified above and, in doing so, consider whether such other information is materially inconsistent with the standalone financial statements or our knowledge obtained in the audit or otherwise appears to be materially misstated. If, based on the work we have performed on the other information that we have obtained prior to the date of this auditor’s report, we conclude that there is a material misstatement of this other information, we are required to report that fact. We have nothing to report in this regard.
When we read the Annual Report, if we conclude that there is a material misstatement therein, we are required to communicate the matter to those Charged with Governance.
Responsibilities of Management and those Charged with Governance for the Standalone Financial Statements
The Bank’s Board of Directors is responsible for the matters stated in section 134(5) of the Act with respect to the preparation of these standalone financial statements that give a true and fair view of the financial position, financial performance, cash flows of the Bank in accordance with the provisions of Section 29 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, accounting principles generally accepted in India, including the Accounting Standards specified under section 133 of the Act read with Rule 7 of the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014 in so far as they apply to the Bank and guidelines and directions issued by Reserve Bank of India from time to time.
This responsibility also includes maintenance of adequate accounting records in accordance with the provisions of the Act for safeguarding of the assets of the Bank and for preventing and detecting frauds and other irregularities; selection and application of appropriate accounting policies; making judgments and estimates that are reasonable and prudent; and the design, implementation and maintenance of adequate internal financial controls, that were operating effectively for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of the accounting records, relevant to the preparation and presentation of the standalone financial statements that give a true and fair view and are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
In preparing the standalone financial statements, management is responsible for assessing the Bank’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless management either intends to liquidate the Bank or to cease operations, or has no realistic alternative but to do so.
Those Charged with Governance are also responsible for overseeing the Bank’s financial reporting process.
Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Standalone Financial Statements
Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the standalone financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with SAs will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these standalone financial statements.
As part of an audit in accordance with SAs, we exercise professional judgment and maintain professional skepticism throughout the audit. We also:
- Identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the standalone financial statements, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.
- Obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances. Under section 143(3)(i) of the Act, we are also responsible for expressing our opinion on whether the Bank has adequate internal financial controls system in place and the operating effectiveness of such controls.
- Evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by management.
- Conclude on the appropriateness of management’s use of the going concern basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the Bank’s ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our auditor’s report to the related disclosures in the standalone financial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify our opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of our auditor’s report. However, future events or conditions may cause the Bank to cease to continue as a going concern.
- Evaluate the overall presentation, structure and content of the standalone financial statements, including the disclosures, and whether the standalone financial statements represent the underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation.
We communicate with those Charged with Governance regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.
We also provide those Charged with Governance with a statement that we have complied with relevant ethical requirements regarding independence, and to communicate with them all relationships and other matters that may reasonably be thought to bear on our independence, and where applicable, related safeguards.
From the matters communicated with those Charged with Governance, we determine those matters that were of most significance in the audit of the standalone financial statements for the financial year ended March 31, 2019 and are therefore the key audit matters. We describe these matters in our auditor’s report unless law or regulation precludes public disclosure about the matter or when, in extremely rare circumstances, we determine that a matter should not be communicated in our report because the adverse consequences of doing so would reasonably be expected to outweigh the public interest benefits of such communication.
The comparative financial statements of the Bank for the corresponding year ended March 31, 2018 were audited by a predecessor auditor who expressed an unmodified opinion on those financial statements on April 21, 2018.
Report on Other Legal and Regulatory Requirements
1. The Balance Sheet and the Profit and Loss Account have been drawn up in accordance with the provisions of Section 29 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 read with Section 133 of the Companies Act, 2013 read with Rule 7 of the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014.
2. As required by sub section (3) of section 30 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 , we report that:
a. We have obtained all the information and explanations which, to the best of our knowledge and belief, were necessary for the purpose of our audit and have found them to be satisfactory;
b. The transactions of the Bank, which have come to our notice, have been within the powers of the Bank; and
c. The financial accounting systems of the Bank are centralized and therefore, accounting returns for the purpose of preparing standalone financial statements are not required to be submitted by its branches; we have visited 237 branches for the purpose of our audit.
3. As required by Section 143(3) of the Act, we report that:
a. We have sought and obtained all the information and explanations which to the best of our knowledge and belief were necessary for the purposes of our audit;
b. In our opinion, proper books of account as required by law have been kept by the Bank so far as it appears from our examination of those books;
c. The Balance Sheet, the Profit and Loss Account, the Cash Flow Statement dealt with by this Report are in agreement with the books of account;
d. In our opinion, the aforesaid standalone financial statements comply with the Accounting Standards specified under Section 133 of the Act, read with Rule 7 of the Companies (Accounts) Rules, 2014 to the extent they are not inconsistent with the accounting policies prescribed by RBI;
e. On the basis of the written representations received from the directors as on March 31, 2019 taken on record by the Board of Directors, none of the directors is disqualified as on March 31, 2019 from being appointed as a director in terms of Section 164(2) of the Act;
f. With respect to the adequacy of the internal financial controls over financial reporting of the Bank with reference to these standalone financial statements and the operating effectiveness of such controls, refer to our separate Report in “Annexure 1” to this report;
g. In our opinion, the entity being a banking company, the remuneration to whole-time directors during the year ended March 31, 2019 has been paid by the Bank in accordance with the provisions of Section 35B(1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949; and
h. With respect to the other matters to be included in the Auditor’s Report in accordance with Rule 11 of the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules, 2014, as amended in our opinion and to the best of our information and according to the explanations given to us:
i. The Bank has disclosed the impact of pending litigations on its financial position in its standalone financial statements - Refer Note C17 of Schedule 17, Note 16 (d) of Schedule 18 and Schedule 12 - Contingent liabilities in the standalone financial statements;
ii. The Bank has made provision, as required under the applicable law or accounting standards, for material foreseeable losses, if any, on long-term contracts including derivative contracts - Refer Note C17 of Schedule 17, Note 10 and 16 (d) of Schedule 18 forming part of the standalone financial statements; and
iii. There were no amounts which were required to be transferred to the Investor Education and Protection Fund by the Bank.
ANNEXURE 1 TO THE INDEPENDENT AUDITOR’S REPORT OF EVEN DATE ON THE STANDALONE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS OF HDFC BANK LIMITED
Report on the Internal Financial Controls under Clause (i) of Sub-section 3 of Section 143 of the Companies Act, 2013 (“the Act”)
To the Members of HDFC Bank Limited
We have audited the internal financial controls over financial reporting of HDFC Bank Limited (“the Bank”) as of March 31, 2019 in conjunction with our audit of the standalone financial statements of the Bank for the year ended on that date.
Management’s Responsibility for Internal Financial Controls
The Bank’s Management is responsible for establishing and maintaining internal financial controls based on the internal control over financial reporting criteria established by the Bank considering the essential components of internal control stated in the Guidance Note on Audit of Internal Financial Controls Over Financial Reporting issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. These responsibilities include the design, implementation and maintenance of adequate internal financial controls that were operating effectively for ensuring the orderly and efficient conduct of its business, including adherence to the Bank’s policies, the safeguarding of its assets, the prevention and detection of frauds and errors, the accuracy and completeness of the accounting records, and the timely preparation of reliable financial information, as required under the Act.
Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Bank’s internal financial controls over financial reporting based on our audit. We conducted our audit in accordance with the Guidance Note on Audit of Internal Financial Controls Over Financial Reporting (the “Guidance Note”) and the Standards on Auditing as specified under section 143(10) of the Companies Act, 2013, to the extent applicable to an audit of internal financial controls, both applicable to an audit of Internal Financial Controls and, both issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Those Standards and the Guidance Note require that we comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether adequate internal financial controls over financial reporting was established and maintained and if such controls operated effectively in all material respects.
Our audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the adequacy of the internal financial controls system over financial reporting and their operating effectiveness. Our audit of internal financial controls over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal financial controls over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. The procedures selected depend on the auditor’s judgement, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error.
We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion on the internal financial controls system over financial reporting.
Meaning of Internal Financial Controls Over Financial Reporting
A company’s internal financial control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal financial control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorisations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorised acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Inherent Limitations of Internal Financial Controls Over Financial Reporting
Because of the inherent limitations of internal financial controls over financial reporting, including the possibility of collusion or improper management override of controls, material misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected. Also, projections of any evaluation of the internal financial controls over financial reporting to future periods are subject to the risk that the internal financial control over financial reporting may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
In our opinion, the Bank has, in all material respects, an adequate internal financial controls system over financial reporting and such internal financial controls over financial reporting were operating effectively as at March 31, 2019, based on the internal control over financial reporting criteria established by the Bank considering the essential components of internal control stated in the Guidance Note on Audit of Internal Financial Controls Over Financial Reporting issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
For S. R. Batliboi & Co. LLP
Firm’s Registration No.: 301003E/E300005
per Sudhir Soni
April 20, 2019 Membership No.: 41870