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Data | Why did bad loans in banks reduce despite COVID-19 and economic downturn?

The ratio of Gross Non-Performing Assets (GNPA: mortgage accounts overdue for 90 days or extra) in Indian banks decreased in FY20 and FY21 (upto September) despite the influence of COVID-19 and the economic downturn that preceded it.

This was largely resulting from three components: 1) Banks wroteoff comparatively extra NPAs in FY20 to scrub their steadiness sheets; 2) Some massive NPA accounts received resolved via debt-recovery channels; and 3) It isn’t identified what share of mortgage accounts, which had been beneath COVID-19-related moratorium, will turn into NPAs in the immediate future.

Fall and rise

After peaking in FY18 (11.2%), the GNPA ratio of all industrial banks fell in FY19 (9.1%) and FY20 (8.2%). It continued to say no in FY21 (7.5% as of Sept. 2020). The GNPA ratio of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) mimicked this development. However, the GNPA ratio of Private Sector Banks (PVBs), although all the time decrease than that of PSBs, has been rising steadily since FY15.


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Also learn: The Hindu Explains | Why is the RBI worried when volume of bad loans declined in the September quarter?

Write-offs improve

The fall in NPAs in FY20 could be largely attributed to mortgage write-offs. Banks need to put aside (or provision) part of their revenue as a buffer for potential losses which will come up from NPAs. Thus, NPAs reduce a financial institution’s accessible capital to lend recent loans. So, banks voluntarily select to write-off NPAs to keep up wholesome steadiness sheets. In FY20, GNPAs written off by PSBs reached a six-year excessive.


Recoveries peak

Through numerous debt restoration channels, ₹1,72,565 crore price of NPAs was recovered in FY20, the very best in a few years. Resolution of some massive NPA accounts helped reduce the GNPA ratio in FY20. The graph plots the NPAs of all banks recovered via numerous channels. In FY20, the restoration reached a peak.


Future tense

As of Aug. 31, prospects accounting for 41% and 34% of all excellent loans in PSBs and PVBs, respectively, opted for the mortgage moratorium. Thus, the GNPA ratio of seven.5% in September 2020 is a conservative estimate. It continues to be not identified what share of mortgage accounts which got here beneath the moratorium will flip into NPAs (loans overdue >90 days).

However, a pointy rise in Special Mention Accounts-0 (loans overdue <30 days) in Sept. 2020 factors to the preliminary indicators of stress after the lifting of the moratorium on Aug. 31. This reveals that one month after the top of the moratorium, the next share of consumers are beginning to default on funds.


This story is accessible completely to The Hindu subscribers solely.

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