More than 5,600 borrowers, who owe banks close to Rs 60,000 crore, have been declared wilful defaulters by lenders as on December 31, data from credit information bureau CIBIL shows. These instances of wilful default are those where banks have filed suits.
Not surprisingly, the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) is owed Rs 12,091 crore, followed by another state-run lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) which has receivables of Rs 9,445 crore lent to 698 borrowers. If the non-suit filed accounts are also considered, then close to a third of PNB’s gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of Rs 34,338 crore have resulted from wilful defaults. Of this amount of Rs 10,869 crore, the top 10 wilful defaulters together owe the New Delhi-headquartered bank Rs 3,554 crore.
Kotak Mahindra Bank has the highest amount of loans stuck with wilful defaulters among private sector banks at Rs 5,442 crore. Wilful defaults for private sector banks stood at Rs 10,250 crore and at Rs 463 crore for foreign banks.
According to RBI guidelines, a borrower is termed a wilful defaulter if he has defaulted in meeting the repayment obligations to the lender even when it has the capacity to repay, or has not utilised the money from the lender for the specific purposes for which finance was availed and has diverted the funds for other purposes.