Most large banks have reported improvement in bad loan recovery in 2017-18, data compiled by FE showed. While, banks including Bank of Baroda (BoB), Canara Bank, United Bank of India, Union Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank have seen an increase in recoveries, State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bank of India (BoI) have recovered less than they did in 2016-17. According to the data, Bank of Baroda (BoB) reported 8% rise in recoveries in FY18 at Rs 4,417 crore. P S Jayakumar, chairman, BoB recently told analysts that the reason it has reported a high provision is also to some extent related to the fact that the ability to recover has not been as efficient as one would have liked to.
“Part of it is entirely outside our control, the way in which the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) processes work and the fact that we have a minimal share in most of these large accounts,” Jayakumar said. He added that the bank would have a better sense at the end of the June quarter of FY19, because “the NCLT and other things would play itself so one can talk in a more definitive term”.
While ICICI Bank’s recoveries and upgradations more than tripled to Rs 8,107 crore in FY18, Axis Bank’s recoveries and upgradations more than doubled to Rs 8,763 crore in the same period. Separate numbers for upgradations and recoveries were not available for these private banks. N S Kannan, executive director, ICICI Bank recently told analysts that they have made significant recoveries and upgradations in a couple of accounts; one is a sugar account which has been sold to an international company and the second is from a gas-based power plant. The lender also said it will focus on recoveries and resolutions and by March 2020, it plans to bring down the net NPA ratio to around 1.5%.
Meanwhile, recoveries at State Bank of India (SBI) fell 9% to Rs 54,726 crore in FY18. SBI’s recovery numbers also includes its upgradations and transfer to advance under collection account (AUCA). Announcing the bank’s March quarter results, SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said that the recognition of bad loans is over.
“As far as the recognition of NPAs is concerned, that has been completed and we are fully compliant with the framework issued by RBI on February 12,” Kumar added. He hoped that if FY18 was the year of disappointment, FY19 is the year of hope and FY20 will be the year of happiness for the bank. Meanwhile, Punjab National Bank’s (PNB) recoveries dropped 58% in 2017-18 to Rs 4,443 crore.
Kotak Institutional Equities said in a recent report that recovery and upgrades have not been too great given the diversion of attention of the entire staff towards a fraudulent gems and jewellery account and close monitoring of systems and processes.“The bank has exposure of Rs 18,000 crore to cases referred or to be referred to NCLT on RBI’s directions, which could potentially result in relief in headline non-performing loans (NPL) performance,” the report said.