STAFF REPORTER | MADURAI | UPDATED: APRIL 22, 2018 04:14 IST | The Hindu
Coming to the aid of a law student who sought an educational loan from a nationalised bank, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has directed the bank to consider the loan application and disburse the loan within two weeks.
Justice M.S. Ramesh, hearing the plea, observed that nationalised banks had time and again rejected loan applications based on the CIBIL reports of family members.
The student being the principal borrower, the status of parents and family members could not be a criteria for rejecting the application. CIBIL score should not be a ground for rejection of an application. It was a wilful disobedience of various orders passed by the court in this regard, making this case liable for contempt of court orders. The Head of Indian Bank, which had rejected the loan, was directed to issue necessary directions to all its branches in the State to refrain from rejecting educational loan applications on such grounds.
The court was hearing the case of M.Hariharasudhan, a law student of Prist University, Thanjavur, who had sought an educational loan of Rs. 70,000 from the Indian Bank. He moved the High Court after his application was rejected based on his father’s low CIBIL score.
G BALACHANDAR | Published on April 04, 2018 | The Hindu Business Line
But delinquencies are also on the rise
CHENNAI: The share of home loans to THE self-employed has increased to a little less than a third of the overall housing loan portfolio of housing finance companies (HFCs) from one-fourth of the portfolio four years ago, points out a report of rating agency Crisil.
Primarily driven by the government impetus to affordable housing, there has been a big surge in the self-employed taking home loans. In the overall home loan portfolio of HFCs, the share of self-employed borrowers is about 30 per cent now when compared with about 20 per cent four years ago.
“Several initiatives of both the government and the regulator in the recent past have led to fast growth in home loans taken by the self-employed. We expect such mortgages to continue showing good growth because of the sharp focus of smaller HFCs and increasing interest of the larger ones,” said Krishnan Sitaraman, Senior Director, Crisil Ratings.
Loans to the self-employed segment have grown at a CAGR of about 33 per cent in the past four years, compared with 20 per cent for the overall home loan segment. Home loans outstanding in the self-employed segment are expected to have topped ₹2 lakh crore by the end of 2017-18. Though new, small and larger HFCs have been aggressively catering to the self-employed segment, banks are also strengthening their presence in the home loan segment due to subdued credit demand from corporates and asset quality pressures.
However, on the flipside, delinquencies are also rising in the self-employed segment. Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) in the segment are estimated to have inched up by 40 basis points to about 1.1 per cent by the end of 2017-18, compared with about 0.7 per cent a few years back. This trend, however, warrants caution because lending to the self-employed is largely based on assessed income. Additionally, a section of borrowers, who have a limited credit history or banking experience, are highly vulnerable to disruptions such as demonetisation, and see high volatility in cash flows in the event of exigency.
“The two-year lagged NPAs in the self-employed segment, at about 1.8 per cent, is much higher compared with about 0.6 per cent in the salaried segment, where the portfolio quality has remained largely stable over the years,” said Rama Patel, Director, Crisil Ratings.
Given that the self-employed segment is relatively riskier than the salaried segment, HFCs tend to demand higher yields to offset higher credit cost. Further, to surmount borrower data issues, HFCs are adopting practices such as offering lower loan-to-value ratio, higher in-house sourcing, and developing the expertise to assess un-documented income.
While financiers are adopting a risk-based pricing approach, long-term sustenance will depend on strong credit and underwriting practices, said the report.
To ensure that all schemes launched by mutual funds are distinct in terms of asset allocation and investment strategy, SEBI proposed categorisation and rationalisation of mutual fund schemes.
Nikhil Walavalkar | Mar 16, 2018 02:24 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com
Mutual funds are busy changing the names of their schemes. Securities Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi) directive on the rationalisation and categorisation of mutual fund schemes has made mutual funds to drop the fancy names and fall in line. The idea is to simplify the process of understanding the mutual fund offerings and choosing schemes for investments by investors. But as the names change, there are some investors who may start worrying about their investments. If the investment you have invested into has disappeared or renamed do not get worked up. Do read on to understand how it impacts you.
To ensure that all schemes launched by mutual funds are distinct in terms of asset allocation and investment strategy, SEBI proposed categorisation and rationalisation of mutual fund schemes. The SEBI prescription allows fund houses to offer schemes in 10 types of equity funds, 16 categories of bond funds and 6 categories of hybrid funds. Fund houses are also allowed to launch index funds, fund of funds and solution oriented schemes.
“SEBI has clearly defined norms and the asset allocation and the norms that will specify each category,” says Rupesh Bhansali, head of mutual funds, GEPL Capital. For example, a large cap fund must invest at least 80% of the money in large cap stocks. Large cap stocks are defined as top 100 companies in terms of full market capitalisation. “By introducing these norms the regulator has ensured that the apple to apple comparison of mutual fund schemes is possible,” says Bhansali.
The mutual fund houses too have started responding with change in names and investment strategy of the schemes, wherever applicable. For example, DSP Blackrock Focus 25 Fund is renamed as DSP Blackrock Focus Fund. Analysts used to treat it as a large cap fund so far. However, going ahead it will be placed in Focused Fund category.
The process of aligning with the SEBI norms will go on for a while and more fund houses will make necessary changes. The process however should not stop you from investing in mutual funds.
“Investors should first understand the category of mutual funds as each one of these has distinct characteristics,” says Swarup Mohanty, CEO of Mirae Asset Mutual Fund. Find out where your scheme is going to be placed and see what kind of investment strategy it will employ.
“If the scheme’s investment strategy and portfolio construction changes, then there is a very high possibility of changes in risks and returns associated with investing in that scheme,” Renu Pothen, head of research, FundSuperMart.com. For example, if a fund that was a primarily large cap scheme is shifted to a large and mid-cap scheme, then the risk associated with the scheme goes up as the fund manager invests minimum 35% of the money in mid cap companies. Possible higher returns come on the back of higher risks.
“The investor must assess the risk-reward in the light of his financial goals and his risk appetite before investing in that scheme. If there is a mismatch between the investor’s risk profile and the risk-reward offered by the scheme, the investor will be better off selling out his existing investments. He can look for better options elsewhere,” says Renu Pothen. While exiting a mutual fund scheme, there are implications such as exit loads and capital gains, which investors should not ignore.
“When there is a change in fundamental attribute of the scheme, the investors are given exit option without any exit load,” points out Bhansali. This exit option is not at all compulsory and should be availed if and only if there is a mismatch between your expectations and the offering. However, the capital gains will be payable in case of redemption in bond funds. Though the exits in current financial year from equity funds will lead to no tax on long term capital gains, the same will attract 10% tax after April 1, in case the gains exceed Rs 1 lakh.
Changes in regulatory framework and volatile markets may add to worries of mutual fund investors. However, mutual fund investors must take this opportunity to relook at their investment plans, say experts. If you do not understand the fine nuances of equity funds, better stick to multicap funds and let the fund manager decide what asset allocation should be within equity as an asset class.
“It is time to reassess your risk profile. Do not get carried away with high returns over last couple of years. Instead be realistic with your return expectation while building your financial plans and use short term volatility to your advantage by investing through systematic investment plan,” advises Mohanty.
PTI | March 5, 2018 | India Today
Mumbai, Mar 5 (PTI) Even as rivals continue to be reluctant about adopting external benchmarks for setting lending rates, American lender Citi today launched the countrys first market benchmark rate-linked lending product.
The bank has introduced a home loan product that will be linked to the rate of treasury bills, which is used by government for its short-term borrowings.
The lender, which already has similar external benchmark-linked products in other markets like the US and Singapore, said it does not see any impact on net interest margin (NIM), a key determinant of profitability, because of the launch of the product where a borrowers rates will be reviewed every three months.
Frustrated at poor transmission of its policy moves into lending rates for borrowers, the Reserve Bank had last October mooted the idea of moving to a market-linked benchmark and suggested three such instruments, including the T-bills rate, the rate for certificate of deposits and its own repo rate to determine the interest rate.
Bankers, led by their lobby grouping Indian Banks Association, had opposed such a move, claiming that the existing marginal cost of funding based lending rates is working well and also pointed out that deposits are not linked to any market benchmark.
Citis country business manager for global consumer banking Shinjini Kumar, said a shift to a market benchmark like the T-bill is transparent, simple and will also help with better transmission.
Loans will be sold at a fixed spread above the T-bill rate which will be maintained throughout the loan tenure, she said, adding there will be quarterly readjustments for the borrower.
There will be a range of spread above the T-bill rate which the bank will follow, its head of secured lending Rohit Ranjan said, adding the average spread will be 2 percentage points. Existing customers will also be able to move to the new product without any refinancing costs, he added.
The banks country treasurer Badrinivas NC sought to downplay concerns surrounding customers being exposed to T- bill rate volatilities, which may happen due to external events like the taper tantrum in 2013 and hinted that the rates also reflect the policy decisions at a particular point of time which get captured through the quarterly resets.
He said the bank has a diversified liability profile, including a high 60 per cent composition on the low-cost current and savings account deposits and also other retail term deposits, which will make it possible for it to offer such a product.
The bank feels the RBI will be on a long pause and may go for a hike in rates only if there is a surge in inflation, he said.
In a few cases, especially concerning top corporates, the bank has been benchmarking rates against market benchmarks but those were deals done on a one-on-one basis, and this is the first time that any lender is going to the market with such an offering, Kumar said.
The bank had a gross home loan book of Rs 9,000 crore, while the overall India book stood at Rs 57,000 crore as of December 2017. Even as rivals struggle with dud assets, its NPAs on the mortgage lending is a healthy 0.05 per cent, the bank said.
Commenting on the recent changes in priority sector lending (PSL) requirements for foreign banks, Kumar said Citi is already compliant on PSL requirements, including the sub- categories and in some cases it uses priority sector lending certificates.
The bank will be resorting to use of digital technologies and tying up with partners to comply with the new requirements, she said. PTI AA BEN BEN SDM
Sidhartha | Updated: Mar 1, 2018, 17:41 IST | Time of India
NEW DELHI: Several lenders, including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank on Thursday announced an increase in lending rates, a move that may make your home loans a little expensive.
The hikes come amid tightening liquidity or cash supply in the banking system, accentuated by the year-end rush that prompted SBI, the country’s largest lender, to raise deposit rates by up to 50 basis points for retail borrowers.
On Thursday, SBI increased its marginal cost of lending rate, which is linked to the interest rate on funds raised by a bank, by 20 basis points (8.15% from 7.95%).
Like SBI, starting March 1, ICICI Bank and PNB increased their MCLR but by a slightly lower magnitude of 15 basis points. Some lenders such as HDFC Bank will review rates next week.
Typically, while extending a home loan, banks keep a spread over the MCLR which results in a higher interest rate on these loans. PNB said that its home loans will cost 8.6% for most borrowers, while women will get it at 8.55%.
SBI has a spread of 40 basis points over the MCLR for most borrowers and 35 basis points for women borrowers (100 basis points equal a percentage point).
While the government has been seeking a lower interest rate and has repeatedly prodded the Reserve Bank of India to pare policy rates, the central bank has resisted a softer interest rate regime, arguing that there is a risk of higher inflation given the recent rise in global crude petroleum prices as well as the impact of domestic measures such as higher allowances for government employees following implementation of the seventh pay commission recommendations. Besides, it has pointed to higher food prices to refrain from cutting policy rates.
With economic growth picking up, RBI may not move that path now and last month the government’s chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian had acknowledged that the scope to lower rates may have narrowed.
After a few hikes in marginal cost based funding rate (MCLR) by some banks in past two months, banks first raised the rates on bulk deposits.
Nikhil Walavalkar | Mar 01, 2018 01:13 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com
The largest public sector bank in India – State Bank of India – has decided to increase the interest rate payable on retail deposits, followed by an increase in MCLR (marginal cost of funds-based lending rate) – the rate charged on loans – by up to 20 basis points. As the largest lender revises its interest rates, should you be worried with your financial plan?
Before getting into corrective measures and means to exploit the rate action, you should spend a minute understanding why rates have gone up.
“Towards the end of the financial year the liquidity in the market has gone down. The banks are keen to raise money. The rates are hiked as a lagged response to the rising bond yields,” said Mahendra Kumar Jajoo, head – fixed income, Mirae Asset Management.
For the uninitiated, the benchmark 10-year bond yield has moved up to 7.78 percent from a low of of 6.18 percent on December 7, 2016.
Banks typically take time to raise their fixed deposit rates. After a few hikes in MCLR by some banks in past two months, banks first raised the rates on bulk deposits. Now interest rates on retail fixed deposits are being hiked. This is a sign of relief for most fixed deposit investors who were forced to consider investing in the volatile stock markets through mutual funds.
Though the interest rate hike on fixed deposits is good news for conservative investors, one should not expect fireworks in the form of aggressive rate hikes in near future.
“As of now the liquidity tightening is the cause behind the fixed deposit rate hikes. RBI has maintained its neutral stance on the monetary issues. This may change to hawkish over next six months,” said Joydeep Sen, founder of wiseinvestor.in, a Mumbai-based wealth management firm.
Though the interest rates are set to go up and others are expected to follow SBI, the process of rate hikes will be gradual. “Bank fixed deposit investors may see higher rates over next six to twelve months. You can consider opting for six months to one year fixed deposits and rolling it over at higher rates when they mature,” Sen advised.
Rising interest rates, however, ring alarm bells for both bond fund investors and borrowers. The increase in yield suppresses the prices of bonds and thereby hurts investors in bond funds as net asset values of the bond funds go down. Recent spike in bond yields have taken a heavy toll on bond funds. Long term gilt funds lost 2.1 percent over past three months, on an average.
The prevalent bond yields are a result of the market discounting RBI’s hawkish stance one year down the line, according to experts. Although opinions are divided on the extent of a further surge in yields, there seems to be a consensus when it comes to volatility in the bond market.
If you are not comfortable with the volatility, you should stay away from long-term bond funds and income funds that invest in longer-term paper.
“Short term bond funds are good investment option at this juncture as they invest in bonds maturing in two to three years, where the yields are attractive,” said Jajoo. If you are comfortable with some amount of volatility and expect a sideways move in yields, you may consider investing in income funds and dynamic bond funds.
While fixed income investors see a mixed bag in the rising interest rate regime, borrowers, especially those on floating rate liabilities, are expected to see tough times ahead. The banking sector is undergoing a situation of extreme pressure on margins due to an increase in non-performing assets like never before.
The rise in yields and fixed deposit rates will ensure that banks will be forced to raise their MCLR. This will result in an increase in the floating rate for home loan borrowers. For example, if you have a Rs 50 lakh home loan for 15 years and the rate is hiked to 8.45 percent from 8.25 percent, then the EMI changes to Rs 49,090 from Rs 48,507, an increase of Rs 583. You may ascertain the possible impact on you using EMI calculator.
“Other banks will definitely follow the MCLR hike action of SBI. The rates on home loans may be hiked by the end of this month or in early April,” said Sukanya Kumar, founder of RetailLending.com.
Banks may postpone their rate hikes to attract home loan volumes and close the financial year with good numbers. But home loan borrowers should be prepared to pay higher EMIs in the near future.
Rates will be revised depending on the MCLR time frame. For example, if your home loan is linked to 6-month MCLR, you can expect rates to change after six months from the last reset. The 6-month MCLR prevalent at that time will be applicable to your home loan at the time of reset.
If interest rates continue their journey northward, cash flows do change for you. Account for them well in advance to ensure that you do not get caught off guard.
Paytm will give a rating to users on its platform based on their digital transactions online.
M Devan | Monday, February 26, 2018 – 09:04 | The News Minute
The Digital India push may receive a fillip through the efforts by Paytm to launch its own credit score Paytm Score, very much on the lines of the CIBIL credit rating that has been the only parameter on which the Indian banking system has been approving loan applications.
The record of digital transactions users have carried out within the digital payments major’s ecosystem will be the basis on which it will make the evaluation of creditworthiness of an individual. Paytm has its e-wallet, Paytm Mall and also the booking platform across which customers use their digital payment modes to make payments.
These transactions will form the basic data which will be fed into the appraisal system and the ratings given. These ratings can then be shared by Paytm with lending agencies with whom it has already entered into partnerships and it has already added to its stable, a lending vertical Creditmate, which it acquired organically a few months ago.
Apart from this, Paytm has an agreement with ICICI Bank for offering short-term credits on an interest-free basis and these loans are sanctioned without any delay.
The credit rating program may itself become a financial product for Paytm and it is learnt that it has offered this to some online lending agencies and NBFCs interested in moving away from CIBIL.
The demonetization move by the Indian government, in late 2016, has helped Paytm expand its business and that has, in turn, brought in high profile investors, such as SoftBank. With that backing, the company is now able to focus its attention on growing all the verticals under its management.
With Paytm Mall and Paytm Payments Bank already doing well Paytm has expanded into new segments such as insurance, online grocery delivery with BigBasket, online ticket booking, initiatives to set up a money market fund, the partnership with PVR and more. The firm might want to evolve into a large conglomerate of services.