ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Engineering Banking Sector Recovery and Growth

The idea of “bail-in” in cases of serious banking instability has been widely discussed in India ever since the introduction of the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill. Given the large non-performing loans of public sector banks, the Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India as the regulatory authority have to quickly act to ensure that public confidence in the soundness of commercial banks is not breached. In this context, three approaches are explored that could be adopted either individually or in a variety of combinations in different proportions essentially to secure banking stability. The bail-in idea should not be considered except in extreme conditions of large financial stress. The idea could be tried even before the extreme situation arises with provision of incentives.

Non-performing Assets in Indian Banks

Growing non-performing assets is a recurrent problem in the Indian banking sector. Over the past two decades, there have been two such episodes when the banking sector was severely impaired by balance sheet problems. A comparative analysis of two banking crisis episodes— one in the late 1990s, and another that started in the aftermath of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and is yet to be resolved—is presented. Taking note of the macroeconomic and banking environment preceding these episodes, and the degree and nature of crises, policy responses undertaken are discussed. Policy lessons are explored with suggestions for measures to adapt to a future balance sheet-related crisis in the banking sector such that the impact on the real economy is minimal.

Public Sector Banks Are Adrift

With credit and deposit growth slowing in key sectors and only retail credit growing, low capital adequacy ratios of banks, senior management changes in the offi ng, and bank mergers, the National Democratic Alliance government needs to ask itself what it envisages for public sector banks, and indeed for the Indian economy.
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