Greater Capital Flows to NBFCs and HFCs for boosting demand

New Delhi: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has recommended four key measures for enhancing liquidity to Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) for an immediate boost to demand in the economy.

Firstly, RBI should define a framework for ‘lender of last resort’ for NBFCs and HFCs having an asset book size of more than INR 25,000 crore. Unlike banks, NBFCs and HFCs do not have the repo window facility to borrow in times of need.

Secondly, CII has suggested that RBI should look at creating a separate classification within the systemically important NBFCs based on asset book size. These NBFCs and HFCs could have more stringent ALM requirement but could be supported by providing more funding options like additional eligibility for ECB, temporary back stop funding like repo facility.

Third suggestion is to ease ECB norms with a higher limit for investment grade rated companies equivalent to sovereign rating upto maybe USD 1,500 million from the current uniform limit of USD 750 million for all NBFCs.

Finally, CII has suggested relaxation of end use norms of ECBs for HFCs to facilitate credit flow to the entire housing finance sector. Currently end use is limited to affordable housing.

NBFCs and HFCs have played a complementary role to banks in supplying credit to the underserved segments of the economy. RBI data suggests that for FY19, the share of credit from Banks and NBFCs & HFCs was in the 70:30 ratio. NBFCs have a share of 15% in personal loans, 30% in auto loans, while HFCs have a share of 42% in housing loans.

Elaborating on the importance of the suggested measures, CII further stated that NBFCs and HFCs are an important source of financing and will play a key role in taking Indian Economy to $5 trillion. Through the years, NBFCs have mastered the art of banking the unbanked segment of the society in both urban and rural areas. A deep-rooted understanding of the customer, the local geography and prevailing market dynamics across various regions; coupled with the flexibility in operations, based on the borrower’s needs, have been the key elements of their success. Policy-makers have been taking steps to alleviate the problems in the NBFC sector, and rightly so. CII’s suggestions to improve liquidity to the sector will provide the much-needed boost to demand in the immediate term.