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Bank Recapitalization

Topics Covered:

  1. Govt Policies and their performances.
  2. Indian economy and issues related to planning.

 

Bank Recapitalization

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: About PCA- meaning, exemptions and norms.
  • For Mains: Recapitalisation- concerns associated, need and the need for comprehensive solution.

 

Context: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has lifted the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework operational curbs on Bank of India (BoI), Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) and Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC).

The PCA restrictions were lifted after these banks provided a written commitment that they would comply with the norms of minimum regulatory capital, net NPAs (Non-performing Assets) and leverage ratio on an ongoing basis. These Banks have also apprised RBI of the structural and systemic improvements they have put in place.

 

What is PCA?

PCA norms allow the regulator to place certain restrictions such as halting branch expansion and stopping dividend payment. It can even cap a bank’s lending limit to one entity or sector. Other corrective action that can be imposed on banks include special audit, restructuring operations and activation of recovery plan. Banks’ promoters can be asked to bring in new management, too. The RBI can also supersede the bank’s board, under PCA.

 

When is PCA invoked?

The PCA is invoked when certain risk thresholds are breached. There are three risk thresholds which are based on certain levels of asset quality, profitability, capital and the like. The third such threshold, which is maximum tolerance limit, sets net NPA at over 12% and negative return on assets for four consecutive years.

 

What are the types of restrictions?

There are two type of restrictions, mandatory and discretionary. Restrictions on dividend, branch expansion, directors compensation, are mandatory while discretionary restrictions could include curbs on lending and deposit. In the cases of two banks where PCA was invoked after the revised guidelines were issued — IDBI Bank and UCO Bank — only mandatory restrictions were imposed. Both the banks breached risk threshold 2.

 

What will a bank do if PCA is triggered?

Banks are not allowed to re new or access costly deposits or take steps to increase their fee-based income. Banks will also have to launch a special drive to reduce the stock of NPAs and contain generation of fresh NPAs. They will also not be allowed to enter into new lines of business. RBI will also impose restrictions on the bank on borrowings from interbank market.

 

Impact:

  1. Small and medium enterprises will have to bear the brunt due to this move by RBI. Since the PCA framework restricts the amount of loans banks can extend, this will definitely put pressure on credit being made available to companies especially the MSMEs.
  2. Large companies have access to the corporate bond market so they may not be impacted immediately. It has been predicted that if more state-owned banks are brought under PCA, it will impact the credit availability for the MSME segment.

 

Sources: the hindu.

Mains Question: What do you understand by Prompt corrective action framework? Critically analyze whether recapitalizing banks which are under PCA framework is a bad idea?