RBI Guidelines on Storage of Payment System Data

There has been considerable growth in the payment ecosystem in the country. Such systems are also highly technology dependent, which necessitate adoption of safety and security measures, which are best in class, on a continuous basis. As per the RBI, not all system providers store the payments data in India.

To ensure better monitoring, it is important to have unfettered supervisory access to data stored with these system providers as also with their service providers / intermediaries/ third party vendors and other entities in the payment ecosystem. The RBI has put in place certain guidelines for storage of payment system data which are as follows:

  1. All system providers are required to ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India. This data should include the full end-to-end transaction details / information collected / carried / processed as part of the message / payment instruction. For the foreign leg of the transaction, if any, the data can also be stored in the foreign country, if required.
  2. System providers are required to ensure compliance of (1) above within a period of six months and report compliance of the same to the Reserve Bank latest by October 15, 2018.
  3. System providers are required to submit the System Audit Report (SAR) on completion of the requirement at (1) above. The audit should be conducted by CERT-IN empaneled auditors certifying completion of activity at (1) above. The SAR duly approved by the Board of the system providers should be submitted to the Reserve Bank not later than December 31, 2018.

This directive has been issued under Section 10(2) read with Section 18 of Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007, (Act 51 of 2007).

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Standards Prescribed for Cash Management Activities of Banks

In view of the increasing reliance of the banks on outsourced service providers and their sub-contractors in cash management logistics, certain minimum standards have been prescribed for the service provider / sub-contractors who are engaged by the banks for this purpose.

Accordingly, the Reserve Bank of India has decided that the banks put in place certain minimum standards in their arrangements with the service providers for cash management related activities. Banks are advised to review their existing outsourcing arrangements and bring them in line with these instructions within 90 days from the date of this circular.

Further, as the cash held with the service providers and their sub-contractors continue to remain the property of the banks and the banks are liable for all associated risks, the banks shall put in place appropriate business continuity plan approved by their boards to deal with any related contingencies.

Standards for engaging the Service Provider and its sub-contractors

1. Eligibility Criteria

Minimum net worth requirement of ₹ 1 billion. The net worth of at least ₹ 1 billion should be maintained at all times. [The net worth requirement will come into force with immediate effect for all future outsourcing agreements of the banks. In case of existing agreements, the banks shall ensure that the net worth criteria is met as on March 31, 2019 (audited balance sheet to be submitted to the bank concerned by June 30, 2019) or at the time of renewal of agreement, whichever is earlier].

2. Physical / Security Infrastructure

  • Minimum fleet size of 300 specifically fabricated cash vans (owned / leased).
  • Cash should be transported only in the owned / leased security cash vans of the Service Provider or its first level sub-contractors. Each cash van should be a specially designed and fabricated Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) having separate passenger and cash compartments, with a CCTV covering both compartments.
  • The passenger compartment should accommodate two custodians and two armed security guards (gunmen) besides the driver.
  • No cash van should move without armed guards. The gunmen must carry their weapons in a functional condition along with valid gun licenses. The Service Provider or its first level sub-contractor should also furnish the list of its employed gunmen to the police authorities concerned.
  • Each cash van should be GPS enabled and monitored live with geo-fencing mapping with the additional indication of the nearest police station in the corridor for emergency.
  • Each cash van should have tubeless tyres, wireless (mobile) communication and hooters. The vans should not follow the same route and timing repeatedly so as to become predictable. Predictable movement on regular routes must be discouraged. Staff should be rotated and assigned only on the day of the trip. With regard to security, additional regulations / guidelines as prescribed by Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005, the Government of India and the State Governments from time to time must be adhered to.
  • Night movement of cash vans should be discouraged. All cash movements should be carried out during daylight. There can be some relaxation in metro and urban areas though depending on the law and order situation specific to the place or the guidelines issued by the local police. If the cash van has to make a night halt, it necessarily has to be in a police station. In case of inter-state movement, changeover of security personnel at the border crossing must be pre-arranged.
  • Proper documentation including a letter from the remitting bank should be carried invariably in the cash van, at all times, particularly for inter-state movement of currency.
  • ATM operations should be carried out only by certified personnel who have completed minimum hours of classroom learning and training. The content of such training may be certified by a Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) of Cash-in-Transit (CIT) Companies / Cash Replenishment Agencies (CRAs) who may tie up with agencies like National Skill Development Corporation for delivery of the courses.
  • The staff associated with cash handling should be adequately trained and duly certified through an accreditation process. Certification could be carried out through the SRO or other designated agencies.
  • Character and antecedent verification of all crew members associated with cash van movement, should be done meticulously. Strict background check of the employees should include police verification of at least the last two addresses. Such verification should be updated periodically and shared on a common database at industry level. The SRO can play a proactive role in creating a common data base for the industry. In case of dismissal of an employee, the CIT / CRA concerned should immediately inform the police with details.
  • Safe and secure premises of adequate size for cash processing / handling and vaulting. The premises should be under electronic surveillance and monitoring round the clock. Technical specifications of the vault should not be inferior to the minimum standards for Chests prescribed by the Reserve Bank. The vault should be operated only in joint custody and should have colour coded bins for easier storage and retrieval of different types of contents.
  • All fire safety gadgets should be available and working in the vault which should also be equipped with other standard security systems live CCTV monitoring with recording for at least 90 days, emergency alarm, burglar alarm, hotline with the nearest police station, lighting power backup and interlocking vault entry doors.
  • Work area should be separate from the cash area. The premises should be under the security of armed guards whose number should have reference to the scale of operations specific to the location but not less than five in any case.
  • Critical information like customer account data should be kept highly secure. Access to the switch server should be restricted to banks. Interfaces where a bank gives access to the service provider or its sub-contractor to the bank’s internal server should be limited to relevant information and secured.

RBI Guidelines: Creation of Investment Fluctuation Reserve (IFR)

With a view to addressing the systemic impact of sharp increase in the yields on Government Securities, the Reserve Bank of India recently decided to grant banks the option to spread provisioning for Mark to Market (MTM) losses on investments held in Available for Sale (AFS) and Held for Trading (HFT) for the quarters ended December 31, 2017 and March 31, 2018. The provisioning for each of these quarters may be spread equally over up to four quarters, commencing with the quarter in which the loss is incurred.

Banks that utilise the above option shall make suitable disclosures in their notes to accounts/ quarterly results providing details of –

  • the provisions for depreciation of the investment portfolio for the quarters ended December 2017 and March 2018 made during the quarter/year and,
  • the balance required to be made in the remaining quarters.

Further, with a view to building up of adequate reserves to protect against increase in yields in future, all banks are advised to create an Investment Fluctuation Reserve (IFR) with effect from the year 2018-19, as under:

An amount not less than the lower of the following:

  • net profit on sale of investments during the year
  • net profit for the year less mandatory appropriations

shall be transferred to the Investment Fluctuation Reserve (IFR), until the amount of IFR is at least 2 per cent of the HFT and AFS portfolio, on a continuing basis. Where feasible, this should be achieved within a period of 3 years.

A bank may, at its discretion, draw down the balance available in IFR in excess of 2 per cent of its HFT and AFS portfolio, for credit to the balance of profit/loss as disclosed in the profit and loss account at the end of any accounting year. In the event the balance in the IFR is less than 2 per cent of the HFT and AFS investment portfolio, a draw down will be permitted subject to the following conditions:

  • The drawn down amount is used only for meeting the minimum CET1/Tier 1 capital requirements by way of appropriation to free reserves or reducing the balance of loss, and
  • The amount drawn down is not more than the extent the MTM provisions made during the aforesaid year exceed the net profit on sale of investments during that year.

IFR shall be eligible for inclusion in Tier 2 capital.

RBI Announces Revamp of Lead Bank Scheme

With reference to deliberation on the recommendations of the Committee of Executive Directors’ with various stakeholders and based on their feedback, the Reserve Bank of India recently decided that the following ‘action points’ will be implemented by the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) Convener Banks/Lead Banks-

  • SLBC meetings should primarily focus on policy issues with participation of only the senior functionaries of the banks/ Government Departments. All routine issues may be delegated to sub-committee(s) of the SLBC. A Steering Sub-committee may be constituted in the SLBC to deliberate on agenda proposals from different stakeholders and finalise a compact agenda for the SLBC meetings. Typically, the Sub-Committee could consist of SLBC Convenor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) representatives and senior State Government representative from the concerned department, such as, Finance/Institutional Finance and two to three banks having major presence. Other issue-specific sub-committees may be constituted as required.

 

  • In cases where the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer/ Executive Director of the SLBC Convenor Bank is unable to attend SLBC Meetings, the Regional Director of the Reserve Bank shall co-chair the meetings along with the Additional Chief Secretary/ Development Commissioner of the State concerned.

 

  • The corporate business targets for branches, blocks, districts and states may be aligned with the Annual Credit Plans (ACP) under the Lead Bank Scheme to ensure better implementation. The Controlling Offices of the banks in each state should synchronise their internal business plans with the ACP under Lead Bank Scheme.

 

  • At present, discussions at the Quarterly Meetings of the various LBS fora namely, State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), District level Consultative Committee (DCC) and Block Level Bankers’ Committee (BLBC) primarily focuses on the performance of banks in the disbursement of loans with regard to the allocated target under the Annual Credit Plan. The integrity and timeliness of the data submitted by banks for the purpose has been an issue as a significant portion of this data is manually compiled and entered into the Data Management Systems of the SLBC Convener Banks. The extent to which this data corresponds with the data present in the Core Banking Solution (CBS) of the respective banks also varies significantly. Therefore, there is need for a standardised system to be developed on the website maintained by each SLBC to enable uploading and downloading of the data pertaining to the Block, District as well as the State. The relevant data must also be directly downloadable from the CBS and/ or Management Information System (MIS) of the banks with a view to keeping manual intervention to a minimal level in the process. Necessary modifications may be made on the SLBC websites and to the CBS and MIS systems of all banks to implement the envisaged data flow mechanism.

 

  • To strengthen the BLBC forum which operates at the base level of the Lead Bank Scheme, it is necessary that all branch managers attend BLBC meetings and enrich the discussions with their valuable inputs. Controlling Heads of banks may also attend a few of the BLBC meetings selectively.

 

  • Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) should be more actively involved and monitored at various fora of LBS particularly at the DCC level. Focus should be on development of skills to enhance the credit absorption capacity in the area and renewing the training programs towards sustainable micro enterprises. RSETIs should design specific programs for each district/ block, keeping in view the skill mapping and the potential of the region for necessary skill training and skill up gradation of the rural youth in the district.

RBI Guidelines for implementation of Countercyclical Capital Buffer (CCCB)

The framework on countercyclical capital buffer (CCCB) was put in place by the Reserve Bank in terms of guidelines issued on February 5, 2015 wherein it was advised that the CCCB would be activated as and when the circumstances warranted, and that the decision would normally be pre-announced with a lead time of four quarters. The framework envisages the credit-to-GDP gap as the main indicator, which may be used in conjunction with other supplementary indicators, viz., the Credit-Deposit (C-D) ratio for a moving period of three years (given its correlation with the credit-to-GDP gap and GNPA growth), industrial outlook (IO) assessment index (with due note of its correlation with GNPA growth), and interest coverage ratio (noting its correlation with the credit-to-GDP gap).

The aim of the Countercyclical Capital Buffer (CCCB) regime is twofold. Firstly, it requires banks to build up a buffer of capital in good times which may be used to maintain flow of credit to the real sector in difficult times. Secondly, it achieves the broader macro-prudential goal of restricting the banking sector from indiscriminate lending in the periods of excess credit growth that have often been associated with the building up of system-wide risk.

The CCCB may be maintained in the form of Common Equity Tier 1 (CET 1) capital or other fully loss absorbing capital only, and the amount of the CCCB may vary from 0 to 2.5% of total risk weighted assets (RWA) of the banks.

The CCCB decision would normally be pre-announced with a lead time of 4 quarters. However, depending on the CCCB indicators, the banks may be advised to build up requisite buffer in a shorter span of time.

The credit-to-GDP gap shall be the main indicator in the CCCB framework in India. However, it shall not be the only reference point and shall be used in conjunction with GNPA growth. The Reserve Bank of India shall also look at other supplementary indicators for CCCB decision such as incremental C-D ratio for a moving period of three years (along with its correlation with credit-to-GDP gap and GNPA growth), Industry Outlook (IO) assessment index (along with its correlation with GNPA growth) and interest coverage ratio (along with its correlation with credit-to-GDP gap). While taking the final decision on CCCB, the Reserve Bank of India may use its discretion to use all or some of the indicators along with the credit-to-GDP gap.

The CCCB framework shall have two thresholds, viz., lower threshold and upper threshold, with respect to credit-to-GDP gap.

  1. The lower threshold (L) of the credit-to-GDP gap where the CCCB is activated shall be set at 3 percentage points, provided its relationship with GNPA remains significant. The buffer activation decision will also depend upon other supplementary indicators as mentioned above.
  2. The upper threshold (H) where the CCCB reaches its maximum shall be kept at 15 percentage points of the credit-to-GDP gap. Once the upper threshold of the credit-to-GDP gap is reached, the CCCB shall remain at its maximum value of 2.5 per cent of RWA, till the time a withdrawal is signalled by the Reserve Bank of India.
  3. In between 3 and 15 percentage points of credit-to-GDP gap, the CCCB shall increase gradually from 0 to 2.5 per cent of the RWA of the bank but the rate of increase would be different based on the level/position of credit-to-GDP gap between 3 and 15 percentage points. If the credit-to-GDP gap is below 3 percentage points then there will not be any CCCB requirement.

The same set of indicators that are used for activating CCCB (as mentioned above) may be used to arrive at the decision for the release phase of the CCCB. However, discretion shall be with the Reserve Bank of India for operating the release phase of CCCB. Further, the entire CCCB accumulated may be released at a single point in time but the use of the same by banks will not be unfettered and will need to be decided only after discussion with the Reserve Bank of India.

For all banks operating in India, CCCB shall be maintained on a solo basis as well as on consolidated basis.

All banks operating in India (both foreign and domestic banks) should maintain capital for Indian operations under CCCB framework based on their exposures in India.

Banks incorporated in India having international presence have to maintain adequate capital under CCCB as prescribed by the host supervisors in respective jurisdictions. The banks, based on the geographic location of their RWA, shall calculate their bank specific CCCB requirement as a weighted average of the requirements that are being applied in respective jurisdictions. The Reserve Bank of India may also ask Indian banks to keep excess capital under CCCB framework for exposures in any of the host countries they are operating if it feels the CCCB requirement in host country is not adequate.

10. Banks will be subject to restrictions on discretionary distributions (may include dividend payments, share buybacks and staff bonus payments) if they do not meet the requirement on countercyclical capital buffer which is an extension of the requirement for capital conservation buffer (CCB). Assuming a concurrent requirement of CCB of 2.5% and CCCB of 2.5% of total RWAs, the required conservation ratio (restriction on discretionary distribution) of a bank, at various levels of CET1 capital held is illustrated here.

Individual bank minimum capital conservation ratios, assuming a requirement of 2.5% each of capital conservation buffer and CCCB
Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio bands Minimum Capital Conservation Ratios
(expressed as a percentage of earnings)
>5.5% – 6.75% 100%
>6.75% – 8.0% 80%
>8.0% – 9.25% 60%
>9.25% – 10.50% 40%
>10.50% 0%

The CET 1 ratio bands are structured in increments of 25% of the required CCB and CCCB prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India at that point in time.

Banks must ensure that their CCCB requirements are calculated and publicly disclosed with at least the same frequency as their minimum capital requirements as applicable in various jurisdictions. The buffer should be based on the latest relevant jurisdictional CCCB requirements that are applicable on the date that they calculate their minimum capital requirement. In addition, when disclosing their buffer requirement, banks must also disclose the geographic breakdown of their RWAs used in the calculation of the buffer requirement.

The indicators and thresholds for CCCB decisions mentioned above shall be subject to continuous review and empirical testing for their usefulness and other indicators may also be used by the Reserve Bank of India to support CCCB decisions.

Based on the review and empirical testing of CCCB indicators, it has been decided that it is not necessary to activate CCCB at this point in time.

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RBI Governor on “Banking Regulatory Powers should be Ownership Neutral”

Dr Urjit R. Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, recently, deliberated on the topic ‘Banking Regulatory Powers Should Be Ownership Neutral’.

The Governor highlighted some fundamental fissures that exist in the regulation of banks, in particular, public sector banks (PSBs) in the context of the recent fraud in the Indian banking sector. He stated that –“Success has many fathers; failures none. Hence, there has been the usual blame game, passing the buck, and a tonne of honking, mostly short-term and knee-jerk reactions. These appear to have prevented the participants in this cacophony from deep reflection and soul searching that can help solve fundamental issues that are the root cause of such frauds and related irregularities in the banking sector, which are in fact far too regular.”

The Governor, in his speech, cited the observations made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) in the publicly released FSSA (Financial System Stability Assessment) Report, on banking supervision, especially the comprehensive and forward-looking Supervisory Programme through SPARC, by the Reserve Bank of India.

However, the Governor also stated that the 2017 Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) for India lamented at several points the fact that the Reserve Bank’s regulatory powers over banks are not neutral to bank ownership. Referring to the Detailed Assessment Report (DAR) on the Basic Core Principles (BCP) on the Effective Banking Supervision, the Governor cited the observations in DAR – “The Reserve Bank’s legal powers to supervise and regulate PSBs (Public Sector Banks) are also constrained – it cannot remove PSB directors or management, who are appointed by the Government of India (GoI), nor can it force a merger or trigger the liquidation of a PSB; it (Reserve Bank) has also limited legal authority to hold PSB Boards accountable regarding strategic direction, risk profiles, assessment of management, and compensation. Legal reforms are thus highly desirable to empower the RBI to fully exercise the same responsibilities for PSBs as now apply to private banks, and to ensure a level playing field in supervisory enforcement.” On Corporate Governance, the Report observed that “Under the law and according to the custom, the RBI cannot hold PSB Boards accountable for assessing and – when necessary – replacing weak and non-performing senior management and government – appointed Board members”.

Banking Regulatory Powers in India are not Ownership Neutral

Elaborating on the Reserve Bank’s powers on corporate governance at public sector banks, the Governor said that:

  • The Reserve Bank cannot remove directors and management at PSBs as Banking Regulation (BR) Act is not applicable to the PSBs.
  • BR Act provisions for super-session of a Bank Board is not applicable in the case of PSBs (and Regional Rural Banks or RRBs) as they are not banking companies registered under the Companies Act.
  • BR Act provisions for removal of the Chairman and Managing Director (MD) of a banking company is not applicable in the case of PSBs.
  • The Reserve Bank cannot force a merger in the case of PSBs as per Section 45 of the BR Act.
  • PSB’s banking activity does not require license from the Reserve Bank under BR Act; hence, the Reserve Bank cannot revoke the license under BR Act as it can in the case of private sector banks.
  • The Reserve Bank cannot trigger liquidation of PSBs under the BR Act.
  • Furthermore, in a remarkable exception of sorts, in some cases there is duality of Managing Director and the Chairman – they are the same – implying the MD is primarily answerable only to himself or herself.

The Governor highlighted that this legislative reality has in effect led to a deep fissure in the landscape of banking regulatory terrain: a system of dual regulation, by the Finance Ministry in addition to the Reserve Bank. This fissure or the fault line is bound to lead to tremors, such as, the most recent fraud.

Temptation to engage in fraud at the level of employee or employees is always present, in banks (or in corporations), be it in public sector or private sector. The question then is whether there is adequate deterrence faced by employees from undertaking frauds and enough incentives for management to put in place preventive measures to pre-empt frauds. To induce discipline against frauds in case of banks, the Governor advocated for three potentially powerful mechanisms, namely, (i) Investigative/vigilance/ legal deterrence through criminal investigation of frauds and attached penalties; (ii) Market discipline by putting in place governance mechanisms to prevent or reduce the incidence of fraud and/or hold larger buffers in the capital structure to bear losses when fraud materialises; and (iii) Regulatory discipline through detection and punishment by the regulator.

Highlighting the RBI’s standpoint, the Governor stated that “Legislative changes to the BR Act that make our banking regulatory powers fully ownership neutral-not piecemeal, but fully-is a minimum requirement. It might also be the most readily feasible of these options.”

No Banking Regulator Can Catch or Prevent All Frauds

Emphasising that it is simply infeasible for a banking regulator to be in every nook and corner of banking activity to rule out frauds by “being there”, the Governor stated- “What is needed is that various mechanisms to deter frauds and other irregularities are in place and have bite so that fraud incidence is low and magnitudes contained. Indeed, frauds have happened at banks in regimes with varied levels of banking regulatory quality and in both public and private banks.” Referring to the recent case of fraud, the Governor said that the Reserve Bank had earlier identified, based on cyber risk considerations, the exact source of operational hazard and accordingly issued precise instructions via three circulars in 2016 to enable banks to eliminate the hazard and the bank had not worked on the instructions.

Need to Refocus on the Bigger Issue of Stressed Assets Resolution

The Governor also took the opportunity to highlight and draw the attention towards the need to refocus on the bigger issue of stressed assets resolution, in his inaugural speech. In this context, the Governor also presented and clarified the rationale behind RBI’s revised framework for prompt recognition and resolution of stressed assets and highlighted the salient features of the revised framework. Emphasising the importance of stressed assets resolution, the Governor said the Reserve Bank believes that this is precisely the fundamental reform needed in order to strengthen the credit culture at origination, default, asset quality recognition and resolution stages. By so doing, it should weaken in the first place, opportunities for engaging in frauds relating to loan advances.

The Governor concluded his speech with an appeal to the Government, the owner of public sector banks, to consider making important contributions by:

(i) Making banking regulatory powers neutral to bank ownership and leveling the playing field between public sector and private sector banks; and

(ii) Informing itself about what to do with the public sector banking system going forward as part of optimising over the best use of scarce national fiscal resources.

For designing and implementing governance of banking franchise, the Governor opined that restoration of regulatory and market discipline might be more effective than the centralised government control over the banks. These, and other structural reforms in the banking sector, would enable India to grow sustainably at respectable rates, the Governor concluded.

RBI’s Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies

This Statement sets out various developmental and regulatory policy measures for strengthening regulation and supervision; broadening and deepening financial markets; improving currency management; promoting financial inclusion and literacy; and, facilitating data management.

I. Regulation and Supervision

1. Mandatory Loan Component in Working Capital Finance

With a view to promoting greater credit discipline among working capital borrowers, it is proposed to stipulate a minimum level of ‘loan component’ in fund based working capital finance for larger borrowers.

2. Countercyclical Capital Buffer

The framework on counter cyclical capital buffer (CCCB) was put in place by the Reserve Bank in terms of guidelines issued on February 5, 2015 wherein it was advised that the CCCB would be activated as and when the circumstances warranted, and that the decision would normally be pre-announced with a lead time of four quarters. The framework envisages the credit-to-GDP gap as the main indicator, which may be used in conjunction with other supplementary indicators, viz., the Credit-Deposit (C-D) ratio for a moving period of three years (given its correlation with the credit-to-GDP gap and GNPA growth), industrial outlook (IO) assessment index (with due note of its correlation with GNPA growth), and interest coverage ratio (noting its correlation with the credit-to-GDP gap). Based on the review and empirical testing of CCCB indicators, it has been decided that it is not necessary to activate CCCB at this point in time.

3. Deferment of Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) implementation

Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs), excluding Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), were required to implement Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) from April 1, 2018. However, necessary legislative amendments – to make the format of financial statements, prescribed in the Third Schedule to Banking Regulation Act 1949, compatible with accounts under Ind AS – are under consideration of the Government. In view of this, as also the level of preparedness of many banks, it has been decided to defer implementation of Ind AS by one year by when the necessary legislative changes are expected.

4. Storage of Payment System Data

In recent times, the payment ecosystem in India has expanded considerably with the emergence of new payment systems, players and platforms. Ensuring the safety and security of payment systems data by adoption of the best global standards and their continuous monitoring and surveillance is essential to reduce the risks from data breaches while maintaining a healthy pace of growth in digital payments.

It is observed that at present only certain payment system operators and their outsourcing partners store the payment system data either partly or completely in the country. In order to have unfettered access to all payment data for supervisory purposes, it has been decided that all payment system operators will ensure that data related to payment systems operated by them are stored only inside the country within a period of 6 months.

II. Financial Markets

5. Access for Non-residents into the IRS Market

Rupee Interest Rate Swap (IRS) market, while it is the most liquid among interest rate derivative markets, still lacks depth to enable large banks to manage risks. Thin participation and consequent absence of divergence of views result in pricing inefficiencies, which further discourages participation. At the same time, it is understood that there is an active market for Rupee interest rate swaps offshore. Also, Indian market has witnessed increasing participation from non-resident players like FPIs in debt. With a view to develop a deep IRS market that accommodates divergent participants, it is proposed to permit non-residents access to the Rupee IRS market in India.

6. Introduction of Rupee Swaptions

In December 2016, RBI introduced Rupee Interest Rate Options (IRO), following the recommendations of the P.G. Apte Working Group. Only plain vanilla Interest Rate Options were allowed initially. Subsequently, market participants including corporates have expressed the need for swaptions to effectively manage interest rate risk. Fixed Income Money Market and Derivative Association of India (FIMMDA) has conveyed a similar request on behalf of its members. It is, therefore, proposed to permit interest rate swaptions in Rupees so as to enable better timing flexibility for those seeking to hedge interest rate risk.

7. Review of Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal Securities (STRIPS) directions

The Reserve Bank introduced the Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal Securities (STRIPS) in Government Securities in April, 2010. After some initial interest, the product did not find much favour with the market. With a view to encouraging trading in STRIPS by making it more aligned with market requirements and to meet the diverse needs of the investors, it is proposed to review these guidelines. The revised directions will be issued by end of April 2018.

8. Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) for Non-individual Market Participants

The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) code has been conceived as a key measure to improve the quality and accuracy of financial data systems for better risk management post the Global Financial Crisis. The LEI is a 20-character unique identity code assigned to entities who are parties to a financial transaction. RBI has already implemented the LEI code for all market participants in Over-the-Counter (OTC) derivative products in interest rate, currency and credit markets. It was also made applicable for large corporate borrowers. Continuing with this endeavour to improve transparency in financial markets, it is proposed to implement the LEI mechanism for all financial market transactions undertaken by non-individuals, in interest rate, currency or credit markets.

9. Introduction of Single Master Form for Reporting of Foreign Direct Investment in India

Foreign Direct Investment in India, on a repatriable basis, is made by non-residents through eligible instruments such as Equity Shares, Compulsory Convertible Preference shares, Compulsorily Convertible Debentures, Share Warrants etc., issued by the investee company or by contributing to the capital of a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). At present, the reporting of the above transactions resulting in foreign investment are in a disintegrated manner across various platforms/modes. The Reserve Bank plans to introduce an online reporting by June 30, 2018 via a Single Master Form which would subsume all reporting requirements, irrespective of the instrument through which the foreign investment is made.

10. Reporting by Authorised Dealers

Currently, transactions under Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) are being permitted by Authorised Dealer (AD) banks based on the declaration made by the remitter. As such, it is difficult for the AD banks to monitor/ensure that a remitter has not breached the prescribed limit by approaching multiple AD banks. With the objective of improved monitoring and ensuring compliance with the LRS ceilings, it has been decided to put in place a system for daily reporting of individual transactions by banks. This will, inter alia, enable the AD Banks to view the remittances already sent by an individual before allowing further remittance thus obviating the possibility of a remitter breaching the LRS limit by approaching multiple AD banks.

III. Currency Management

11. Norms for Cash-in-Transit (CIT) Industry and Promotion of Self-Regulatory Organisation by CIT Industry

In the Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies of February 7, 2018, the Reserve Bank had announced a time frame to implement the recommendations of the two high level inter-agency committees constituted by it to suggest measures for improvement of currency management, including security of movement of treasure. The Committees, inter alia, had recommended stipulation of minimum standards for cash logistics industry and promotion of a Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) for the industry.

i) Under the ‘Guidelines on Managing Risks and Code of Conduct in Outsourcing of Financial Services’ issued by the Reserve Bank in November 2006, cash management and logistics at the bank level has largely been outsourced to Cash-in-Transit (CIT) companies and Cash Replenishment Agencies (CRAs). There is, however, no regulation or supervision for this industry at present. With a view to promote healthy growth of the sector and mitigate risks associated with movement of currency through these agencies, Reserve Bank will require the banks to ensure that the CIT companies/CRAs engaged by them meet minimum prescribed standards.

ii) In order to ensure compliance with minimum standards for the CIT industry and other applicable laws, the Bank will encourage the cash management industry to promote a Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) for undertaking development work along with self-regulation of the industry, till such time that an appropriate legislative structure is put in place.

12. Central Bank Digital Currency

Rapid changes in the landscape of the payments industry along with factors such as emergence of private digital tokens and the rising costs of managing fiat paper/metallic money have led central banks around the world to explore the option of introducing fiat digital currencies. While many central banks are still engaged in the debate, an inter-departmental group has been constituted by the Reserve Bank to study and provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency.

13. Ring-fencing regulated entities from virtual currencies

Technological innovations, including those underlying virtual currencies, have the potential to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system. However, Virtual Currencies (VCs), also variously referred to as crypto currencies and crypto assets, raise concerns of consumer protection, market integrity and money laundering, among others.

Reserve Bank has repeatedly cautioned users, holders and traders of virtual currencies, including Bitcoins, regarding various risks associated in dealing with such virtual currencies. In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs. Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time.

IV. Financial Inclusion and Literacy

14. Tailored Financial Literacy Content

A ‘one size fits all’ approach for imparting financial education to various target groups is sub-optimal. Financial education contents sought to be delivered to diverse target groups need to be customized to meet their typical target groups. The Reserve Bank is in the process of developing tailored financial literacy contents for five specified target groups’ viz. Farmers, Small entrepreneurs, School children, Self Help Groups and Senior Citizens, that can be used by the trainers.

15. Revamping of the Lead Bank Scheme

The Lead Bank Scheme was started to ensure economic development of the districts/states by establishing coordination between the banks and government agencies. The Scheme was last reviewed by a “High Level Committee” under Smt Usha Thorat, erstwhile Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India, as the Chairperson in 2009. In view of several changes that have taken place in the financial sector over the years, Reserve Bank of India had constituted a “Committee of Executive Directors” of the Bank to study the efficacy of the Scheme and suggest measures for its improvement. The Committee has since submitted its recommendations and it has been decided to realign the Lead Bank Scheme based on the recommendations to make it more relevant.

V. Data Management

16. Creation of RBI Data Sciences Lab

It is critical for a full-service Central Bank, such as the RBI, with diverse responsibilities –inflation management, currency management, debt management, reserves management, banking regulation and supervision, financial inclusion, financial market intelligence and analysis, and overall financial stability – to employ relevant data and apply the right filters for improving its forecasting, now casting, surveillance and early-warning detection abilities that all aid policy formulation. In the backdrop of ongoing explosion in information gathering, computing capability and analytical tool kits, policy making benefits not only from data collected through regulatory returns and surveys but also from large volumes of structured and unstructured real-time information sourced from consumer interactions in the digital world. Accordingly, it has been decided to gainfully harness the power of Big Data analytics by setting up a Data Sciences Lab within the RBI that will comprise experts and budding analysts, internal as well as lateral, who are trained inter alia in Computer Science, Data Analytics, Statistics, Economics, Econometrics and/or Finance. It is envisaged that the unit will become operational by December 2018.

RBI Guidelines: Norms Applicable to Restructuring

Restructuring is an act in which a lender, for economic or legal reasons relating to the borrower’s financial difficulty, grants concessions to the borrower. Restructuring would normally involve modification of terms of the advances / securities, which would generally include, among others, alteration of repayment period / repayable amount / the amount of instalments / rate of interest / roll over of credit facilities / sanction of additional credit facility / enhancement of existing credit limits / compromise settlements where time for payment of settlement amount exceeds three months.

Prudential Norms

1. Asset Classification

In case of restructuring, the accounts classified as ‘standard’ shall be immediately downgraded as non-performing assets (NPAs), i.e., ‘sub-standard’ to begin with. The non-performing assets, upon restructuring, would continue to have the same asset classification as prior to restructuring. In both cases, the asset classification shall continue to be governed by the ageing criteria as per extant asset classification norms.

2. Conditions for Upgrade

Standard accounts classified as NPA and NPA accounts retained in the same category on restructuring by the lenders may be upgraded only when all the outstanding loan / facilities in the account demonstrate ‘satisfactory performance’ (i.e., the payments in respect of borrower entity are not in default at any point of time) during the ‘specified period’ (as defined in paragraph 10 of the covering circular).

For the large accounts (i.e., accounts where the aggregate exposure of lenders is ₹ 1 billion and above) to qualify for an upgrade, in addition to demonstration of satisfactory performance, the credit facilities of the borrower shall also be rated as investment grade (BBB- or better) as at the end of the ‘specified period’ by CRAs accredited by the Reserve Bank for the purpose of bank loan ratings. While accounts with aggregate exposure of ₹ 5 billion and above shall require two ratings, those below ₹ 5 billion shall require one rating. If the ratings are obtained from more than the required number of CRAs, all such ratings shall be investment grade to qualify for an upgrade.

In case satisfactory performance during the specified period is not demonstrated, the account shall, immediately on such default, be reclassified as per the repayment schedule that existed before the restructuring. Any future upgrade for such accounts shall be contingent on implementation of a fresh resolution plan (RP) and demonstration of satisfactory performance thereafter.

3. Provisioning Norms

Accounts restructured under the revised framework shall attract provisioning as per the asset classification category as laid out in the Master Circular on Prudential Norms on Income Recognition, Asset Classification and Provisioning pertaining to Advances dated July 1, 2015, as amended from time to time. However, the provisions made in respect of accounts restructured before the date of the circular under any of the earlier schemes shall continue to be held as per the requirements specified therein.

4. Additional Finance

Any additional finance approved under the RP (including any resolution plan approved by the Adjudicating Authority under IBC) may be treated as ‘standard asset’ during the specified period under the approved RP, provided the account performs satisfactorily (as defined in paragraphs 3-5 above) during the specified period. If the restructured asset fails to perform satisfactorily during the specified period or does not qualify for upgradation at the end of the specified period, the additional finance shall be placed in the same asset classification category as the restructured debt.

5. Income recognition norms

Interest income in respect of restructured accounts classified as ‘standard assets’ may be recognized on accrual basis and that in respect of the restructured accounts classified as ‘non-performing assets’ shall be recognised on cash basis.

In the case of additional finance in accounts where the pre-restructuring facilities were classified as NPA, the interest income shall be recognised only on cash basis except when the restructuring is accompanied by a change in ownership.

6. Conversion of Principal into Debt / Equity and Unpaid Interest into ‘Funded Interest Term Loan’ (FITL), Debt or Equity Instruments

The FITL / debt / equity instruments created by conversion of part of principal / unpaid interest, as the case may be, will be placed in the same asset classification category in which the restructured advance has been classified.

These instruments shall be valued as per usual valuation norms and marked to market. Equity instruments, whether classified as standard or NPA, shall be valued at market value, if quoted, or else at break-up value (without considering the revaluation reserve, if any) as ascertained from the company’s balance sheet as on March 31st of the immediate preceding financial year. In case balance sheet as on March 31st of the immediate preceding financial year is not available, the entire portfolio of equity shares of the company held by the bank shall be valued at Re.1. Depreciation on these instruments shall not be offset against the appreciation in any other securities held under the AFS category.

The unrealised income represented by FITL / Debt or equity instrument can only be recognised in the profit and loss account as under:

  • FITL/debt instruments: only on sale or redemption, as the case may be;
  • Unquoted equity/ quoted equity (where classified as NPA): only on sale;
  • Quoted equity (where classified as standard): market value of the equity as on the date of upgradation, not exceeding the amount of unrealised income converted to such equity. Subsequent changes to value of the equity will be dealt as per the extant prudential norms on investment portfolio of banks.

7. Change in Ownership

In case of change in ownership of the borrowing entities, credit facilities of the concerned borrowing entities may be continued/upgraded as ‘standard’ after the change in ownership is implemented, either under the IBC or under this framework. If the change in ownership is implemented under this framework, then the classification as ‘standard, shall be subject to the following conditions:

  • Banks shall conduct necessary due diligence in this regard and clearly establish that the acquirer is not a person disqualified in terms of Section 29A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
  • The new promoter shall have acquired at least 26 per cent of the paid up equity capital of the borrower entity and shall be the single largest shareholder of the borrower entity.
  • The new promoter shall be in ‘control’ of the borrower entity as per the definition of ‘control’ in the Companies Act 2013 / regulations issued by the Securities and Exchange Board of India/any other applicable regulations / accounting standards as the case may be.
  • The conditions for implementation of RP as per Section I-C of the covering circular are complied with.

For such accounts to continue to be classified as standard, all the outstanding loans/credit facilities of the borrowing entity need to demonstrate satisfactory performance (as defined in paragraph 3 above) during the specified period. If the account fails to perform satisfactorily at any point of time during the specified period, the credit facilities shall be immediately downgraded as non-performing assets (NPAs) i.e., ‘sub-standard’. Any future upgrade for such accounts shall be contingent on implementation of a fresh RP (either under IBC, wherever mandatory filings are applicable or initiated voluntarily by the lenders, or outside IBC) and demonstration of satisfactory performance thereafter.

Further, the quantum of provisions held by the bank against the said account as on the date of change in ownership of the borrowing entities can be reversed only after satisfactory performance during the specified period.

Principles on classification of sale and lease back transactions as restructuring

A sale and leaseback transaction of the assets of a borrower or other transactions of similar nature will be treated as an event of restructuring for the purpose of asset classification and provisioning in the books of banks with regard to the residual debt of the seller as well as the debt of the buyer if all the following conditions are met:

  • The seller of the assets is in financial difficulty;
  • Significant portion, i.e. more than 50 per cent, of the revenues of the buyer from the specific asset is dependent upon the cash flows from the seller;
  • 25 per cent or more of the loans availed by the buyer for the purchase of the specific asset is funded by the lenders who already have a credit exposure to the seller.

Prudential Norms relating to Refinancing of Exposures to Borrowers in different currency

If foreign currency borrowings/export advances for the purpose of repayment/refinancing of rupee loans are obtained from:

  • lenders who are part of Indian banking system (where permitted); or
  • with support (where permitted) from the Indian banking system in the form of Guarantees/Standby Letters of Credit/Letters of Comfort, etc., such events shall be treated as ‘restructuring’ if the borrower concerned is under financial difficulty.

Similarly, rupee loans for repayment/refinancing of foreign currency borrowings/export advances will also be treated as ‘restructuring’ if such rupee loans are extended to a borrower who is under financial difficulty.

Regulatory Exemptions

1. Exemptions from RBI Regulations

Acquisition of non-SLR securities by way of conversion of debt is exempted from the restrictions and the prudential limit on investment in unlisted non-SLR securities prescribed by the RBI.

Acquisition of shares due to conversion of debt to equity during a restructuring process will be exempted from regulatory ceilings/restrictions on Capital Market Exposures, investment in Para-Banking activities and intra-group exposure. However, these will require reporting to RBI (reporting to DBS, CO every month along with the regular DSB Return on Asset Quality) and disclosure by banks in the Notes to Accounts in Annual Financial Statements. Nonetheless, banks will have to comply with the provisions of Section 19(2) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

2. Exemptions from Regulations of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

SEBI has provided exemptions, under certain conditions, from the requirements of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) (ICDR) Regulations, 2009 as well as SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) (SAST) Regulations, 2011 for restructurings carried out as per the regulations issued by the Reserve Bank.

With reference to the requirements contained in sub-regulations 70 (5) (a) and 70 (6) (a) of ICDR Regulations, 2009, the issue price of the equity shall be the lower of (i) or (ii) below:

  • The average of the weekly high and low of the volume weighted average price of the related equity shares quoted on the recognised stock exchange during the twenty six weeks preceding the ‘reference date’ or the average of the weekly high and low of the volume weighted average prices of the related equity shares quoted on a recognised stock exchange during the two weeks preceding the ‘reference date’, whichever is lower; and
  • Book value: Book value per share to be calculated from the audited balance sheet as on March 31st of the immediate preceding financial year (without considering ‘revaluation reserves’, if any) adjusted for cash flows and financials post the earlier restructuring, if any. The balance sheet shall not be more than a year old. In case the audited balance sheet as on March 31st of the immediate preceding financial year is not available the total book value of the borrower company shall be reckoned at Re. 1.

In the case of conversion of debt into equities, the ‘reference date’ shall be the date on which the bank approves the restructuring scheme. In the case of conversion of convertible securities into equities, the ‘reference date’ shall be the date on which the bank approves the conversion of the convertible securities into equities. In case of issuance of fresh shares to the new promoter, the ‘reference date’ shall be the date of signing of the binding agreement between the bank and the new promoter.

With reference to the requirements contained in sub-regulations 10 (1) (ia) (a) of the SAST Regulations, 2001, at the time of selling the equity instruments acquired by banks (as part of a restructuring exercise) in favour of a new promoter, the selling price may be a negotiated price. However, the selling price shall not be lower than the ‘fair value’, which shall be the higher of (i) and (ii) below:

  • The average of the weekly high and low of the volume weighted average price of the related equity shares quoted on the recognised stock exchange during the twenty six weeks preceding the ‘reference date’ or the average of the weekly high and low of the volume weighted average prices of the related equity shares quoted on a recognised stock exchange during the two weeks preceding the ‘reference date’, whichever is higher; and
  • Book value: Book value per share to be calculated from the company’s latest audited balance sheet (without considering ‘revaluation reserves’, if any) adjusted for cash flows and financials post the earlier restructuring, if any.

In case of sale of equity held by banks as a result of conversion/invocation of pledge, the ‘reference date’ shall be the date on which the share purchase agreement between the bank and the new promoter is executed.

Non-applicability of these Guidelines

The revival and rehabilitation of MSMEs as defined under ‘The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006’ shall continue to be guided by the instructions contained in RBI Circular No. FIDD.MSME & NFS.BC.No.21/ 06.02.31/ 2015-16 dated March 17, 2016, as amended from time to time.

Restructuring of loans in the event of a natural calamity shall continue to be as per the directions contained in the Master Directions FIDD.CO.FSD.BC No.8/05.10.001/2017-18, as amended from time to time.

Cases of frauds/ willful defaulters

28. Borrowers who have committed frauds/ malfeasance/ willful default will remain ineligible for restructuring. However, in cases where the existing promoters are replaced by new promoters, and the borrower company is totally delinked from such erstwhile promoters/management, lenders may take a view on restructuring such accounts based on their viability, without prejudice to the continuance of criminal action against the erstwhile promoters/management.

RBI Guidelines on Resolution of Stressed Assets – Revised Framework

The Reserve Bank of India has issued various instructions aimed at resolution of stressed assets in the economy, including introduction of certain specific schemes at different points of time. In view of the enactment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC), it has been decided to substitute the existing guidelines with a harmonised and simplified generic framework for resolution of stressed assets. These guidelines are applicable to all Scheduled Commercial banks (excluding RRBs) and All India Financial Institutions.

Early identification and reporting of stress

Lenders shall identify incipient stress in loan accounts, immediately on default, by classifying stressed assets as special mention accounts (SMA) as per the following categories:

SMA Sub-categories Basis for classification – Principal or interest payment or any other amount wholly or partly overdue between
SMA-0 1-30 days
SMA-1 31-60 days
SMA-2 61-90 days

Lenders shall report credit information, including classification of an account as SMA to Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) on all borrower entities having aggregate exposure of ₹ 50 million and above with them. The CRILC-Main Report will now be required to be submitted on a monthly basis effective April 1, 2018. In addition, the lenders shall report to CRILC, all borrower entities in default (with aggregate exposure of ₹ 50 million and above), on a weekly basis, at the close of business on every Friday, or the preceding working day if Friday happens to be a holiday. The first such weekly report shall be submitted for the week ending February 23, 2018.

Implementation of Resolution Plan

All lenders must put in place Board-approved policies for resolution of stressed assets under this framework, including the timelines for resolution. As soon as there is a default in the borrower entity’s account with any lender, all lenders − singly or jointly − shall initiate steps to cure the default. The resolution plan (RP) may involve any actions / plans / reorganization including, but not limited to, regularisation of the account by payment of all over dues by the borrower entity, sale of the exposures to other entities / investors, change in ownership, or restructuring. The RP shall be clearly documented by all the lenders (even if there is no change in any terms and conditions).

Implementation Conditions for Resolution Plan

A RP in respect of borrower entities to whom the lenders continue to have credit exposure, shall be deemed to be ‘implemented’ only if the following conditions are met:

  1. the borrower entity is no longer in default with any of the lenders;
  2. if the resolution involves restructuring; then
  • all related documentation, including execution of necessary agreements between lenders and borrower / creation of security charge / perfection of securities are completed by all lenders; and
  • the new capital structure and/or changes in the terms of conditions of the existing loans get duly reflected in the books of all the lenders and the borrower.

Additionally, RPs involving restructuring / change in ownership in respect of ‘large’ accounts (i.e., accounts where the aggregate exposure of lenders is ₹ 1 billion and above), shall require independent credit evaluation (ICE) of the residual debt by credit rating agencies (CRAs) specifically authorised by the Reserve Bank for this purpose. While accounts with aggregate exposure of ₹ 5 billion and above shall require two such ICEs, others shall require one ICE. Only such RPs which receive a credit opinion of RP4 or better for the residual debt from one or two CRAs, as the case may be, shall be considered for implementation. Further, ICEs shall be subject to the following:

  • The CRAs shall be directly engaged by the lenders and the payment of fee for such assignments shall be made by the lenders.
  • If lenders obtain ICE from more than the required number of CRAs, all such ICE opinions shall be RP4 or better for the RP to be considered for implementation.

The above requirement of ICE shall be applicable to restructuring of all large accounts implemented from the date of this circular, even if the restructuring is carried out before the ‘reference date’ stipulated in paragraph 8 below.

Timelines for Large Accounts to be Referred under IBC

In respect of accounts with aggregate exposure of the lenders at ₹ 20 billion and above, on or after March 1, 2018 (‘reference date’), including accounts where resolution may have been initiated under any of the existing schemes as well as accounts classified as restructured standard assets which are currently in respective specified periods (as per the previous guidelines), RP shall be implemented as per the following timelines:

  • If in default as on the reference date, then 180 days from the reference date.
  • If in default after the reference date, then 180 days from the date of first such default.

If a RP in respect of such large accounts is not implemented as per the timelines specified in paragraph 8, lenders shall file insolvency application, singly or jointly, under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 (IBC) within 15 days from the expiry of the said timeline.

In respect of such large accounts, where a RP involving restructuring/change in ownership is implemented within the 180-day period, the account should not be in default at any point of time during the ‘specified period’, failing which the lenders shall file an insolvency application, singly or jointly, under the IBC within 15 days from the date of such default.

‘Specified period’ means the period from the date of implementation of RP up to the date by which at least 20 percent of the outstanding principal debt as per the RP and interest capitalisation sanctioned as part of the restructuring, if any, is repaid.

Provided that the specified period cannot end before one year from the commencement of the first payment of interest or principal (whichever is later) on the credit facility with longest period of moratorium under the terms of RP.

Any default in payment after the expiry of the specified period shall be reckoned as a fresh default for the purpose of this framework.

For other accounts with aggregate exposure of the lenders below ₹ 20 billion and, at or above ₹ 1 billion, the Reserve Bank intends to announce, over a two-year period, reference dates for implementing the RP to ensure calibrated, time-bound resolution of all such accounts in default.

It is, however, clarified that the said transition arrangement shall not be available for borrower entities in respect of which specific instructions have already been issued by the Reserve Bank to the banks for reference under IBC. Lenders shall continue to pursue such cases as per the earlier instructions.

Prudential Norms

The revised prudential norms applicable to any restructuring, whether under the IBC framework or outside the IBC, are contained in Annex-1. The provisioning in respect of exposure to borrower entities against whom insolvency applications are filed under the IBC shall be as per their asset classification in terms of the Master Circular on Prudential norms on Income Recognition, Asset Classification and Provisioning, as amended from time to time.

Supervisory Review

Any failure on the part of lenders in meeting the prescribed timelines or any actions by lenders with an intent to conceal the actual status of accounts or evergreen the stressed accounts, will be subjected to stringent supervisory / enforcement actions as deemed appropriate by the Reserve Bank, including, but not limited to, higher provisioning on such accounts and monetary penalties.