At a time when Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of country’s banks have been the subject of much debate and discussion, private banks have witnessed a massive jump in bad loans. There has been 450 per cent rise in gross NPAs of these banks as figures shows bad loans rose from Rs 19,800 crore at the end of financial year 2013-2014 to Rs 109,076 crore at the end of March 2018, according to The India Express report.
Top private banks such as ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC BaNK, kotak Mahindra Bank, Federal Bank, Yes Bank, IndusInd Bank, DCB Bank, RBL Bank and AU Small Finance have seen this rise. According to data obtained by IE, ICICI Bank’s NPAs stood at 10,506 crore in FY 13-14, but rose to 54,063 crore in FY 17-18. Similarly Axis Bank’s bad loans have risen from 3,146 crore in FY 13-14 to Rs 34249 crore in FY 17-18. HDFC Bank’s NPAs were 2989 crore in FY 13-14. After FY 17-18, HDFC Bank’s bad loans stood at 8607 crore. Kotak Mahindra, Federal Bank, Yes Bank, IndusInd Bank, DCB Bank, RBL Bank and AU Small Finance bad loans in FY 17-18 are 3825 crore, 2796 core, 2627 crore, 1705 crore, 369 crore, 567 crore and Rs 270 crore.
According to report, the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) February 13 circular is the reason behind the rise in NPAs of private banks. The circular changed the rules governing the restructuring of stressed assets, besides the central bank’s tough stance against divergence of NPAs. “Some private banks were understating NPAs earlier; now they have to disclose them,” a banking source was quoted as saying by IE.
On February 12, 2018, the RBI had withdrawn all existing restructuring mechanisms such as Corporate Debt Restructuring and Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR). The bank has categorically said that if a borrower company defaults even by a day, lenders must consider it a defaulter and start working on a resolution plan. Until then, bad loans were classified as such only after 90 days of default. The central bank also said the company’s failure to come up with a resolution plan in 180 days would lead to the account being referred for insolvency proceedings. Both the government and the bankers had opposed the new framework.
“Initially, it (resolution) was not moving at the right pace. If you observe the recent bidding process, it’s going in the right direction. The response has been good. Many big accounts are in the last stage of resolution. Haircut in these accounts has come down. Initially, the bidding was very low but now bidding has been good and there’s good competition,” the CEO of a bank was quoted as saying IE.