Business, Economy & Banking Current Affairs

What is NPA ? What are the Loan classification norms ? What is Provisioning Coverage Ratio (PCR) ?

NPA = Non-Performing Asset

  • Loans and advances given by the banks to its customers is are an Asset to the bank.

Just for the sake of simplicity, we can understand that a loan (an asset for the bank) turns as NPA when the EMI, principal or interest component for the loan is not paid within 90 days from the due date. Thus a Bad Loan is an asset that ceases to generate any income for the bank.

Asset or Loan Classification Norms

The assets or loans are classified as:-

  1. Standard Assets
  2. Sub-standard Assets
  3. Doubtful Assets
  4. Loss Assets

Now, in order to ensure that banks are not affected due to defaults, RBI has directed the banks to make provisions or set aside money when an account turns bad. Banks should, classify an account as NPA only if the interest due and charged during any quarter is not serviced fully within 90 days from the end of the quarter.    image  

  • A Loss Asset is considered uncollectible and of such little value for the bank in retaining the account on its book and ideally, such loans should be written off. Thus, Loss assets should be written off. If loss assets are permitted to remain in the books for any reason, 100% of the outstanding should be provided for.
  • Apart from above, there are Guidelines by RBI for provisions under special circumstances.
  • ‘Unsecured exposure’ is defined as an exposure where the realizable value of the security, as assessed by the bank/approved valuers/RBI’s inspecting officers, is not more than 10%, ab-initio, of the outstanding exposure.
  • ‘Exposure’ includes all funded and non-funded exposures.
  • ‘Security’ are tangible security properly discharged to the bank and do not include intangible securities like guarantees, etc.

Restructuring of assets

  • ‘Standard Assets’ upon restructuring –> ‘Sub-Standard Assets’ .
  • Thus, NPA upon restructuring slips into further lower asset classification categories as per above table.
  • Also, an NPA upon restructuring can also be up-graded to the ‘standard’ category after observation of ‘satisfactory performance’ during the specified period i.e. on repayment of outstanding amount by the borrower.

Provisioning Coverage Ratio (PCR):

As per RBI guidelines, NPA is defined as under:

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PSBs see a record rise in Gross NPAs.

The Gross NPAs (Non Performing Assets) to advances ratio for PSBs (Public Sector Banks) rose to a record high at the end of September 2012.

  • As of September 2012 the ratio of gross NPA to advances was the highest for SBI at 5.15 i.e. SBI had Rs 5.15 in stressed assets for every Rs 100 it lent.
  • Priority sector contributed to largest share of NPAs for SBI & its associates and nationalized banks.

As per RBI the sudden rise in NPAs was mainly attributed to:

  • deterioration in asset quality of the banks
  • slowdown prevailing in the domestic economy as well as the external front
  • inadequate appraisal and monitoring of credit proposals during the boom period of 2003-07

Why is asset quality of a bank important ?

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