The headcount at HDFC Bank went down by 6,096 employees between January and March, the second consecutive quarter when the company’s staff strength dropped. Since October last year, the bank has lost as many as 10,677 employees, and the staff strength currently stands at 84,325, PTI reported on Friday.

Company executives attributed the high attrition rate to digitisation. “We have seen an increase in digital transactions, which has given us certain efficiencies linked to the digital channel. We have not replaced the staff that moved out due to attrition and have rebalanced our capabilities due to the increase in digital transactions,” said Deputy Managing Director Paresh Sukthankar, according to The Economic Times.

In the fourth quarter of 2016-’17 that ended in March, the country’s second-largest lender saw 6,096 employees, or 7% of its staff, leaving. The headcount at HDFC had dropped by 4,581 in the previous quarter. On a year-on-year basis, the company saw 3,200 employees leave, reported The Hindu.

However, the drop in its staff strength appears to have had little impact on HDFC’s growth. Its quarterly report released on Friday showed that it registered an 18.2% jump in its net profit in the fourth quarter.

Moreover, the bank has been able to expand despite the high attrition rate. In March 2017, HDFC had 4,715 branches and 12,260 ATMs, up from 4,520 branches and 12,000 ATMs in March 2016. But Deputy Managing Director Sukthankar said the pace of expansion had been slowed – only 195 new branches were opened in the 2016-’17 financial year, while the average stood at 300 to 400. “It is fair to say that we will open new branches at a slower pace, and it will be at an annual rate of 200 or lower, rather than the average we saw earlier,” Sukthankar added.