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Reserve Bank Guidelines on purchase/ sale of Non Performing Financial Assets


Scope

1. These guidelines would be applicable to banks, FIs and NBFCs purchasing/ selling non performing financial assets, from/ to other banks/FIs/NBFCs (excluding securitisation companies/ reconstruction companies).

2. A financial asset, including assets under multiple/consortium banking arrangements, would be eligible for purchase/sale in terms of these guidelines if it is a non-performing asset/non performing investment in the books of the selling bank.

3. The reference to 'bank' in the guidelines would include financial institutions and NBFCs.

Structure

4. The guidelines to be followed by banks purchasing/ selling non-performing financial assets from / to other banks are given below. The guidelines have been grouped under the following headings:

i. Procedure for purchase/ sale of non performing financial assets by banks, including valuation and pricing aspects.

ii. Prudential norms, in the following areas, for banks for purchase/ sale of non performing financial assets:

a. Asset classification norms
b. Provisioning norms
c. Accounting of recoveries
d. Capital adequacy norms
e. Exposure norms

iii. Disclosure requirements

5. Procedure for purchase/ sale of non performing financial assets, including valuation and pricing aspects

i. A bank which is purchasing/ selling non-performing financial assets should ensure that the purchase/ sale is conducted in accordance with a policy approved by the Board. The Board shall lay down policies and guidelines covering, inter alia,

a. Non performing financial assets that may be purchased/ sold;
b. Norms and procedure for purchase/ sale of such financial assets;
c. Valuation procedure to be followed to ensure that the economic value of financial assets is reasonably estimated based on the estimated cash flows arising out of repayments and recovery prospects;
d. Delegation of powers of various functionaries for taking decision on the purchase/ sale of the financial assets; etc.
e. Accounting policy

ii. While laying down the policy, the Board shall satisfy itself that the bank has adequate skills to purchase non performing financial assets and deal with them in an efficient manner which will result in value addition to the bank. The Board should also ensure that appropriate systems and procedures are in place to effectively address the risks that a purchasing bank would assume while engaging in this activity.

iii) The estimated cash flows are normally expected to be realised within a period of three years and not less than 5% of the estimated cash flows should be realized in each half year.

iv) A bank may purchase/sell non-performing financial assets from/to other banks only on 'without recourse' basis, i.e., the entire credit risk associated with the non-performing financial assets should be transferred to the purchasing bank. Selling bank shall ensure that the effect of the sale of the financial assets should be such that the asset is taken off the books of the bank and after the sale there should not be any known liability devolving on the selling bank.



v) Banks should ensure that subsequent to sale of the non performing financial assets to other banks, they do not have any involvement with reference to assets sold and do not assume operational, legal or any other type of risks relating to the financial assets sold. Consequently, the specific financial asset should not enjoy the support of credit enhancements / liquidity facilities in any form or manner.

vi) Each bank will make its own assessment of the value offered by the purchasing bank for the financial asset and decide whether to accept or reject the offer.

vii) Under no circumstances can a sale to other banks be made at a contingent price whereby in the event of shortfall in the realization by the purchasing banks, the selling banks would have to bear a part of the shortfall.

viii) A non-performing asset in the books of a bank shall be eligible for sale to other banks only if it has remained a non-performing asset for at least two years in the books of the selling bank.

ix) Banks shall sell non-performing financial assets to other banks only on cash basis. The entire sale consideration should be received upfront and the asset can be taken out of the books of the selling bank only on receipt of the entire sale consideration.

x) A non-performing financial asset should be held by the purchasing bank in its books at least for a period of 15 months before it is sold to other banks. Banks should not sell such assets back to the bank, which had sold the NPFA.

(xi) Banks are also permitted to sell/buy homogeneous pool within retail non-performing financial assets, on a portfolio basis provided each of the non-performing financial assets of the pool has remained as non-performing financial asset for at least 2 years in the books of the selling bank. The pool of assets would be treated as a single asset in the books of the purchasing bank.

xii) The selling bank shall pursue the staff accountability aspects as per the existing instructions in respect of the non-performing assets sold to other banks.

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