1. MICROFINANCE LOAN CAP RAISED TO Rs. 80,000 PER BORROWER: Microfinance lenders including private banks such as Axis Bank, RBL Bank etc. have raised their cumulative micro loan cap per borrower to Rs. 80,000 from Rs. 60,000, a clear hike of 33%. This is prompted by strong demand and rise in self-employment amid poor industrial sector.


  1. PUBLIC MONEY EXTREMELY SAFE IN PSU BANKS: Finance Minister Mr. Piyush Goyal has said that public money is extremely safe in state-owned banks. He was speaking against the backdrop of several recent fraud cases including the $ 2 billion PNB scam. He also said that the government is open to the question of giving more powers to RBI for effectively regulating the public sector banking.


  1. 18,000 BANK BRANCHES/POST OFFICES HAVE AADHAAR FACILITY NOW: In July 2017  the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had asked private as well as public sector banks to set up Aadhaar updation centres in at least one out of ten branches. In less than one year, the banks and post offices have set up as many as 18,000 Aadhaar centres for enrolment and updation of the biometric ID at such locations.  Out of this, around 10,000 Aadhaar centres have been set up by banks and around 8,000 centres by post offices.


  1. RBI REVISES THE HOUSING LOAN LIMITS UNDER PRIORITY SECTOR: With a view to bring convergence of the Priority Sector lending guidelines for housing loans with Affordable Housing Schemes, and to give a fillip to low-cost housing for Economically Weaker Sections and Low Income Groups, the housing loan limit for eligibility under priority sector lending has been raised to Rs. 35 lakhs (earlier 30 lakhs) in metropolitan centres and 25 lakhs     (earlier Rs 20 lakhs) in other centres. However there is a condition that the overall cost of the dwelling unit in the metropolitan centre and other centres should not exceed Rs. 45 lakhs and Rs. 35 lakhs respectively.  In a further notification, the RBI has announced that the existing family income limit of Rs. 2 lakh per annum for loans to housing for Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Low Income Groups (LIG) stands revised to Rs. 3 lakh and Rs. 6 lakh respectively.


  1. P2P LENDING COMPANIES CHANGE TRACK IN A BID TO BECOME NBFCs : Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending companies are changing their business model as they intend to migrate to Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs). After the RBI came out with new regulations for these companies, most of them had literally stopped lending. While mandating Rs. 20 million as minimum net worth, RBI had also imposed a Rs. 1 million cap for individual lending on such platforms. Now a couple of P2P companies have NBFC licence from RBI.


  1. PRIORITY SECTOR LOANS HAVE LOWEST WRITE-OFFs: Write-offs by banks for priority sector loans (agriculture, MSMEs and smaller home loans) account for just 25% of the total write-offs. Rest 75% relates to big companies like working capital and project loans. As per RBI guidelines banks must lend 40% of their total advances to priority sector lending and in this, 18% must go to agriculture. During 2016-17 banks have written off Rs. 24,682 in priority sector loans and Rs. 79,580 crore in other loans.


  1. INDIANS FACE 25% HIGHER RISK TO FINANCIAL FRAUDS: As per a report by Experian, a global financial information company, Indians are at a higher risk of online financial fraud. With more and more Indians becoming digitally more active the risk of frauds has increased as one in four customers becoming victims to these frauds. 24% of Indians have experienced frauds while transacting online.


  1. GOVERNMENT PLANS TO FORM A LARGE PUBLIC SECTOR ASSET RECONSTRUCION COMPANY: The government is planning to set up a large Public Sector Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC), sort of a big Bad Bank. The government wants to fast track the resolution of stressed assets in the banking system. This way it can set right the PSBs’ impaired capacity  to ease credit flows,especially to Medium & Small Enterprises. A committee under Sunil Mehta, Non-Executive Chairman of PNB has been asked by the government to appraise on this issue.


  1. 90,000 NON-FILERS ON TAX RADAR: More than 90,000 persons who had deposited Rs. 10 lakh or more in their bank accounts during demonetization period are on the radar of Income-Tax department for not filing tax returns by March 31, 2018. Department had served notices to nearly 3 lakh persons who had deposited Rs. 10 lakh or more during the said period and of these nearly 2.1 lakh persons filed their returns by March 31, 2018. The rest will now face action.


  1. RESERVE BANK OF INDIA ISSUES GUIDELINES ON LOAN SYSTEM FOR DELIVERY OF BANK CREDIT: The Reserve bank of India has issues guidelines on loan system for delivery of bank credit. According to this, the borrowers who have a total working capital limits of Rs. 150 crores and above should have at least 40% of it as  Term Loan component FROM Ocober1, 2018. The same will be revised to 60% from April 1, 2019. This is a move to instil discipline among large borrowers with working capital limits.


  1. GOVERNMENT TO SET UP NBFC FOR FOOD COMPANIES: The government is planning to set up a Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) dedicated for funding food processing industry. This NBFC will exclusively fund food processing projects. This would be named as Agro Processing Financial Institute. It will be a lending institution driven by private sector, where government will have a stake. The government will have 20% stake and soon will issue a Request For Proposal (RFP), inviting both private and foreign sector financial firms to hold the residual stake.


  1. PSU BANKS’ NPA WRITE-OFFS SURGE TO 140% OVER THEIR LOSSES IN FY-18: Public Sector Banks          (PSBs) have written-off Non-Performing assets (NPAs) worth Rs. 1.2 Trillion, ( Rs 1, 20,000 Crores), an amount that is nearly 1.5 times more than their total losses posted in 2017-18. This is the first time that banks have made huge writ-offs on bad loans. A write-off means the bank has made 100% provision from its earnings against the loss asset and this loss asset (NPA) is no longer a part of bank’s balance sheet.


  1. BANKS MAY ASK BIG BORROWERS FOR MORE PROOF BEFORE SANCTIONING LOANS: The government may ask state-run banks to run a re-check on big borrowers with Corporate Affairs Ministry or Registrar of Companies (ROC) before sanctioning high value consortium loans. The idea is to find out if the borrower has any associated shell companies, get a fix on subsidiaries with direct or indirect beneficiaries and to determine whether there are any red flags against the prospective borrower. This follows the fraud and diversion of funds being uncovered at present,where in most of the cases it was found that the loans from banks were diverted to shell companies. State owned banks may also seek such information on their own for smaller value loans if they want a higher degree of comfort.


  1. RBI MUST ACT AS AN ALERT INSPECTOR, NOT JUST OFF-SITE SURVEYOR: Reserve Bank of India Union has requested Governor Mr. Urjit Patel to monitor banks through a combination of risk-based supervision, off-site surveillance and on-site inspections of operational systems. In a written letter to the Governor, the union has suggested that the RBI should undertake random supervision of bank branches in all parts of the country periodically, possibly 10% of bank branches comprising all regions on an annual basis which will give the best result.


1. BANKS’ BAD LOANS CROSS Rs. 10 LAKH CRORE: Indian Banks’ Gross Non-Performing Assets
(NPAs) stood at Rs. 10.25 lakh Crore as on 31/03/2018. As on 31/12/2017 the bad loans were
Rs. 8.86 lakh Crore. That means in the last quarter of FY 2018 the pile has grown by Rs. 1.39
Lakh crore or 16% jump from December quarter which is really alarming. A break-up of NPAs
shows that 21 Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have a Gross NPA of Rs 8.97 lakh crore and that of 18
private sector banks stood at Rs 1.28 lakh crore as on 31/03/2018.
2. AFFORDABLE HOME LOANS A WORRY FOR RBI: Reserve Bank of India has said that it is closely
monitoring the small Housing loan segment of up to Rs. 2.00 lakh and after careful analysis of
the said data, it has been observed that the level of NPAs (Bad loans) for ticket size of up to Rs.
2.00 lakh is very high and has been rising briskly. Reserve Bank has warned all banks that it will
be constrained to make small ticket housing loans more expensive under the affordable housing
scheme and force borrowers to pay up more money if banks don’t tighten the standards and
address the rising bad loan scenario in this segment.

opened the doors for Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) to convert into Small Finance Banks
giving them more freedom and access to open branches pan India and thus opening up a larger
market for these lenders which at present are of local nature. The details of the scheme will be
announced separately.

4. CAPITAL FIRST’S MERGER WITH IDFC BANK GETS RBI NOD: Reserve Bank of India has issued a
No Objection Certificate for the merger of IDFC Bank and Capital First. Now IDFC Bank has to
approach the shareholders and creditors of the merged companies. A clearance from NCLT is
also required to clear the way for both the entities to merge. Capital First Home Finance and
Capital First Securities will also merge with IDFC bank.

5. TROUBLED MSMEs GET A BREATHER FROM RBI: In a relief to Micro, Small & Medium
Enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the rollout of GST, RBI has given them a temporary breather
by allowing them to delay their loan repayments by 180 days without being classified as NPA.
This facility will be available to all MSMEs with aggregate credit limits of up to Rs. 25 crore,
irrespective of whether they are registered under GST or not. Accordingly, eligible MSME
accounts, which were standard as on 31/08/2017 shall continue to be standard asset if
payments due as on 01/09/2017, and falling due thereafter up to 31/12/2017 were paid not
later than 180 days from their original due date.

state run banks have entirely wiped out $ 13 billion ( Rs 87,100 Crores) capital infusion by the
government and the situation is not likely to improve in the current fiscal as well. Rating agency
Fitch has said that the big losses will pressure the banks viability rating.

7. BANKS PLAN TO SELL Rs. 28,000 CRORE NPAs: Seven banks including the big brothers like SBI
and ICICI Bank are in the process of selling their bad loan portfolio totalling to Rs. 28,000 crore
to asset reconstruction companies in the coming weeks without waiting for the resolutions. SBI
and ICICI bank have already disclosed their list of assets that would be put on sale and other
banks are in final stages. The largest share is that of IDBI bank which has identified 30 accounts
with Rs. 21,399 crore. SBI has identified 12 accounts worth Rs. 1,325 crore while ICICI bank has
identified 16 accounts amounting to Rs. 2,330 crore.

8. AXIS BANK LAUNCHES NEW CHAT BOT SERVICE: Axis bank has launched a virtual assistant for
its customers armed with artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms and named it
“AXIS AHA” The chatbot is designed to provide relevant contextual responses to customer
queries and even help them make transactions on the chat window itself.


  1. INDIA’S STRESSED AND DEBT-LADEN BANKS GET CHEAP OVERSEAS LOANS: Indian Banks are getting syndicated loans at a very low interest rate from international lenders. Indian banks will have cleaner balance sheets and stronger credit portfolios in the long run as a result of RBI’s multi-year push to recognise bad assets (Non-Performing assets) more accurately in Indian banking system. Axis Bank, State Bank of India and IndusInd Bank Ltd are some of the banks which are getting cheaper funds in international market as confidence in World’s fastest growing economy increases.


  1. GOVERNMENT LOOKS AT WAYS TO APPOINT TOP OFFICIALS AT ALLAHABAD BANK AND PNB: The government is exploring ways to appoint top executives in Allahabad Bank and Punjab National Bank (PNB) after existing executives were divested of their official charge, pending investigations in to Nirav Modi fraud case. The managing Director of Allahabad Bank along with two Executive Directors of PNB was divested of all powers recently. Since these executives have not been removed from the service but have been just divested from their official powers, it is technically not possible for the government to appoint fresh MD and ED for the said posts. The government is looking at all options including the removal under the Banking Regulation Act.


  1. UIDAI GIVES BREATHER TO BANKS: Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had instructed each of the Indian Banks to ensure that 10% of their branches to have Aadhaar enrolment centres and these centres had to meet the target of 16 daily enrolments or updation. As per the new circular, the stipulated bank branches with Aadhaar facility will have to ensure at least 8 enrolments or updation each day from July 1, 2018. These targets will then be raised to 12 per day from October 1, 2018 and to 16 per day from January 1, 2019 onwards.


  1. NPA LADEN UNITED BANK OF INDIA TO CAP LOANS TO A SINGLE BORROWER: Kolkata based United Bank of India (UBI), which has a gross Non-Performing assets (NPA) ratio of 24.1% will cap corporate loans to a single borrower at Rs. 150 crore. Because of the deteriorating asset quality, the bank has allowed its corporate loan book to shrink by around to 6,000 crore during FY 2017-18. The share of corporate loans in the bank’s total assets is at 28% now. It will be brought down to 25% in this fiscal.


  1. GOVERNMENT MAY ASK LARGE BANKS TO BUY SMALL BANKS’ RISKIER LOANS: The government may ask loss-making public sector banks to sell their riskier loans to their larger peers, such as SBI so as to reduce the capital requirement of public sector banks that have been hit hard by the latest norms of RBI on provisioning for bad debts. Riskier loans are those loans given to companies with weak finance. This is because the government has ruled out further fund infusion beyond Rs. 65,000 crore that was announced as part of the Rs. 2.1 lakh crore re-capitalisation plans. Further, these lenders are being pursued to aggressively sell non-core holdings including stake in mutual funds and insurance arms.


  1. 37 BANKS SEE Rs. 1.3 TRILLION JUMP IN GROSS NPA IN QUARTER 4: Weighed down by RBI’s new rules on restructured assets, domestic banks ( both public and private) have added over 1.3 trillion in gross Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in the fourth quarter ended March 2018. Provisions and contingencies set aside for these NPAs also rose to Rs. 1.4 trillion in the same period.


  1. MHA LAUNCHES ONLINE ANALYTICAL TOOL TO MONITOR FOREIGN FUNDING OF NGOs:Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched a new online analytical tool tofacilitate closer monitoring of the flow and utilisation of foreign contributions received by NGOs and other organisations registered under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 (FCRA).There are hundreds and thousands of transactions annually which can be monitored effectively through this tool. This will help the government to regulate the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contributions by these NGOs.