RBI allows banks to sell fraud NPAs to ARCs

In a move that will help banks unload a major chunk of their non-performing assets (NPAs) to the bad bank, RBI has allowed the sale of loan accounts classified as fraud to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs). Earlier, banks were barred from selling NPAs classified as fraud, which had left them saddled with a resolution of several large accounts.

Banks are targeting to sell Rs 2 lakh crore worth of NPAs to the bad bank or the National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL) for recovery. However, they have hit a roadblock in respect of accounts that have been classified as fraud, as they were not allowed to sell them. RBI has now allowed banks to sell fraud accounts, provided the transferee is not connected to the borrower.

RBI has also said that responsibilities of the transferor with respect to continuous reporting, monitoring, filing of complaints with law enforcement agencies and proceedings related to such complaints shall also be transferred to the ARC. “The transfer of such loan exposures to an ARC, however, does not absolve the transferor from fixing the staff accountability as required under the extant instructions on frauds,” RBI said.

“Due to forensic audit in all big NPAs, in last three years, advances amounting Rs 3.83 lakh crore were declared as fraud accounts. Now, This big chunk of NPAs will be available for sale to ARCs in general and specifically to NARCL in case of large advances with consortium lending,” Hari Hara Mishra, director, UV ARC, said.

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