Leading private sector lenders are in top gear when it comes to expanding their headcount and just five of them, including ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, added more than 15,000 employees to their payrolls in the last fiscal.

The expanded workforce also seems to be giving them rich dividends in terms of improvements in their employee productivity, shows an analysis of the annual staff details of ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Yes Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Together, the five banks saw their cumulative headcount rise by 15,823 persons in the latest fiscal, ended March 31, 2013, to close to two lakh employees.

While HDFC Bank had the biggest workforce (69,065) among the five at the end of the fiscal, the highest increase (6,163 employees) was recorded by Axis Bank in absolute terms.

HDFC Bank’s workforce rose by 2,989 employees, while that of ICICI Bank rose by 3,789 persons to 62,065 during the fiscal 2012-13, the details published in the banks’ latest annual reports show.

Axis Bank saw its headcount rise to 37,901 employees, while Yes Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank also expanded their staff strength by 1,382 and 1,500 persons, respectively. The collective headcount of the five banks stood at 1,99,555 as on March 31, 2013.

While per-employee profitability rose for all the five banks, four of them also recorded an improvement in their respective business per employee.

Axis Bank was the only one to see its business per employee dip marginally to Rs 12.15 crore, from Rs 12.76 crore in the previous fiscal.

Yes Bank was on the top in terms of per—employee profits as well as business. Its profit per employee was Rs 21 lakh, followed by Axis’ Rs 15 lakh, ICICI Bank’s Rs 14 lakh and Rs 10 lakh each for HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

The per-employee profitability is derived by dividing the bank’s net profit after tax by the number of employees, while the ‘business per employee’ is the average deposits plus average advances divided by number of employees.