scorecardresearchBanks’ gross NPA falls to lowest in six years

Banks’ gross NPA falls to lowest in six years

Updated: 17 Jun 2022, 11:09 AM IST
TL;DR.
RBI Deputy governor Rajeshwar Rao says sector’s health is encouraging
Asset quality of Indian banks started deteriorating from the early part of last decade and peaked in March 2018 with gross NPA hitting 11.5 per cent of gross advances.

Asset quality of Indian banks started deteriorating from the early part of last decade and peaked in March 2018 with gross NPA hitting 11.5 per cent of gross advances.

Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of the banking sector dropped below 6 per cent as of March 2022 — the lowest since 2016 — and net NPAs fell to 1.7 per cent during the same period. 

This indicates that the sector has remained largely unscathed from the ill-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic so far, M Rajeshwar Rao, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said, reported Business Standard.

At the same time, it would be important to assess if the improvement in the asset quality is broad based or only because of regulatory forbearance, he said.

“The preliminary assessment of the health of the banking sector is encouraging,” Rao said.

“The asset quality of banks has improved, and the gross NPAs and net NPAs of the banks have improved from the pre-pandemic levels. The fresh slippages have broadly been brought under control. Banks have also enhanced their provisions including provisions for restructured accounts,” he added.

Asset quality of Indian banks started deteriorating from the early part of last decade and peaked in March 2018 with gross NPA hitting 11.5 per cent of gross advances. Since then, the asset quality of banks has been improving.

In the last one year also, there has been an improvement. Gross NPAs of scheduled commercial banks were at 7.3 per cent in March 2021 and 6.9 per cent in September 2021.

While exuding confidence about the improvement in the banking system’s asset quality, Rao also cautioned that the industry has to exhibit prudence and ascertain whether the current levels of asset quality being exhibited are on account of improvement in fundamentals of business, deleveraging and efficiency gains or on account of support extended by authorities through various measures.

Not only has there been an improvement in the asset quality of the banking system, but banks have also shored up their capital base to deal with any untoward situation that may arise going forward. They are also well placed to support the economy with a rise in credit demand.

First Published: 17 Jun 2022, 11:09 AM IST