QUES -1 What is a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC)?
ANS -1 A Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 and is engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares/stock/bonds/debentures/securities issued by Government or local authority or other securities of like marketable nature, leasing, hire-purchase, insurance business, chit business but does not include any institution whose principal business is that of agriculture activity, industrial activity, sale/purchase/construction of immovable property. A non-banking institution which is a company and which has its principal business of receiving deposits under any scheme or arrangement or any other manner, or lending in any manner is also a non-banking financial company (Residuary non-banking company).
QUES 2. NBFCs are doing functions similar to banks. What is difference between banks & NBFCs ?
ANS 2. NBFCs are doing functions akin to that of banks; however there are a few differences:
(ii) an NBFC is not a part of the payment and settlement system and as such an NBFC cannot issue cheques drawn on itself; and
(iii) deposit insurance facility of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available for NBFC depositors unlike in case of banks.
QUES-3. Is it necessary that every NBFC should be registered with RBI?
ANS 3. In terms of Section 45-IA of the RBI Act, 1934, it is mandatory that every NBFC should be registered with RBI to commence or carry on any business of non-banking financial institution as defined in clause (a) of Section 45 I of the RBI Act, 1934.
QUES 4. What are the different types of NBFCs registered with RBI?
ANS 4. Originally, NBFCs registered with RBI were classified as:
(ii) hire-purchase company;
(iii) loan company;
(iv) investment company.
However, with effect from December 6, 2006 the above NBFCs registered with RBI have been reclassified as
(ii) Investment Company (IC)
(iii) Loan Company (LC)
AFC would be defined as any company which is a financial institution carrying on as its principal business the financing of physical assets supporting productive/economic activity, such as automobiles, tractors, lathe machines, generator sets, earth moving and material handling equipments, moving on own power and general purpose industrial machines. Principal business for this purpose is defined as aggregate of financing real/physical assets supporting economic activity and income arising therefrom is not less than 60% of its total assets and total income respectively.
The above type of companies may be further classified into those accepting deposits or those not accepting deposits.
QUES 5. Updated on February 10, 2009 What are the requirements / is the procedure for registration with RBI?
ANS 5. A company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 and desirous of commencing business of non-banking financial institution as defined under Section 45 I(a) of the RBI Act, 1934 should have a minimum net owned fund of Rs 25 lakh (raised to Rs 200 lakh w.e.f April 21, 1999).
QUES 6. Where can one find list of Registered NBFCs and instructions issued to NBFCs?
ANS 6. The list of registered NBFCs is available on the web site of Reserve Bank of India and can be viewed at www.rbi.org.in. The instructions issued to NBFCs from time to time are also hosted at the above site. Besides, instructions are also issued through Official Gazette notifications. Press Release is also issued to draw attention of the public/NBFCs.
QUES 7. Can all NBFCs accept deposits and what are the requirements for accepting Public Deposits?
ANS 7. All NBFCs are not entitled to accept public deposits. Only those NBFCs holding a valid Certificate of Registration with authorisation to accept Public Deposits can accept/hold public deposits. NBFCs authorised to accept/hold public deposits besides having minimum stipulated Net Owned Fund (NOF) should also comply with the Directions such as investing part of the funds in liquid assets, maintain reserves, rating etc. issued by the Bank.
QUES 8. Is there any ceiling on acceptance of Public Deposits? What is the rate of interest and period of deposit which NBFCs can accept?
* AFC = Asset Finance Company
Presently, the maximum rate of interest an NBFC can offer is 12.5%. The interest may be paid or compounded at rests not shorter than monthly rests.
ANS 9. Some of the important regulations relating to acceptance of deposits by NBFCs are as under:
QUES 10. What is ‘deposit’ and ‘public deposit’? Is it defined anywhere?
ANS 10. The term ‘deposit’ is defined under Section 45 I(bb) of the RBI Act, 1934. ‘Deposit’ includes and shall be deemed always to have included any receipt of money by way of deposit or loan or in any other form but does not include:
Paragraph 2(1)(xii) of the Non-Banking Financial Companies Acceptance of Public Deposits ( Reserve Bank) Directions, 1998 defines a ‘ public deposit’ as a ‘deposit’ as defined under Section 45 I(bb) of the RBI Act, 1934 and further excludes the following:
Thus, the directions exclude from the definition of public deposit, amount raised from certain set of informed lenders who can make independent decision.
QUES 11. Are Secured debentures treated as Public Deposit? If not who regulates them?
ANS 11. Debentures secured by the mortgage of any immovable property or other asset of the company, if the amount raised does not exceed the market value of the said immovable property or other asset, are excluded from the definition of ‘Public Deposit’ in terms of Non-Banking Financial Companies Acceptance of Public Deposits (Reserve Bank) Directions, 1998. Secured debentures are debt instruments and are regulated by Securities & Exchange Board of India.
QUES 12. Whether NBFCs can accept deposits from NRIs?
ANS 12. Effective from April 24, 2004, NBFCs cannot accept deposits from NRIs except deposits by debit to NRO account of NRI provided such amount does not represent inward remittance or transfer from NRE/FCNR (B) account. However, the existing NRI deposits can be renewed.
QUES 13 Is nomination facility available to the Depositors of NBFCs?
ANS 13. Yes, nomination facility is available to the depositors of NBFCs. The Rules for nomination facility are provided for in section 45QB of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. Non-Banking Financial Companies have been advised to adopt the Banking Companies (Nomination) Rules, 1985 made under Section 45ZA of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Accordingly, depositor/s of NBFCs are permitted to nominate one person to whom the NBFC can return the deposit in the event of the death of the depositor/s. NBFCs are advised to accept nominations made by the depositors in the form similar to one specified under the said rules, viz Form DA 1 for the purpose of nomination, and Form DA2 and DA3 for cancellation of nomination and change of nomination respectively.
QUES 14. What else should a depositor bear in mind while depositing money with NBFCs?
ANS 14. While making deposits with an NBFC, the following aspects should be borne in mind:
(ii) A proper deposit receipt which should, besides the name of the depositor/s, state the date of deposit, the amount in words and figures, rate of interest payable and the date of maturity. Depositor/s should insist on the above and also ensure that the receipt is duly signed by an officer authorised by the company in that behalf.
(iii) The Reserve Bank of India does not accept any responsibility or guarantee about the present position as to the financial soundness of the company or for the correctness of any of the statements or representations made or opinions expressed by the company and for repayment of deposits/discharge of the liabilities by the company.
QUES 15. It is said that rating of NBFCs is necessary before it accepts deposit? Is it true? Who rates them?
ANS 15. An unrated NBFC, except certain Asset Finance companies (AFC), cannot accept public deposits. An exception is made in case of unrated AFC companies with CRAR of 15% which can accept public deposit without having a credit rating upto a certain ceiling depending upon its Net Owned Funds (c.f Ans to Q 8). AN NBFC may get itself rated by any of the four rating agencies namely, CRISIL, CARE, ICRA and FITCH Ratings India Pvt. Ltd.
QUES 16. What are the symbols of minimum investment grade rating of different companies?
ANS 16. The symbols of minimum investment grade rating of the Credit rating agencies are:
It may be added that A- is not equivalent to A, AA- is not equivalent to AA and AAA- is not equivalent to AAA.
ANS 17. No, an NBFC cannot accept deposit without rating (except an Asset Finance Company complying with prudential norms and having CRAR of 15%, as explained above at Ans. to Q 8).
QUES 18. When a company’s rating is downgraded, does it have to bring down its level of public deposits immediately or over a period of time?
ANS 18. If rating of an NBFC is downgraded to below minimum investment grade rating, it has to stop accepting public deposit, report the position within fifteen working days to the RBI and reduce within three years from the date of such downgrading of credit rating, the amount of excess public deposit to nil or to the appropriate extent permissible under paragraph 4(4) of Non-Banking Financial Companies Acceptance of Public Deposits (Reserve Bank) Directions, 1998.
QUES 19. In case an NBFC defaults in repayment of deposit what course of action can be taken by depositors?
ANS 19. If an NBFC defaults in repayment of deposit, the depositor can approach Company Law Board or Consumer Forum or file a civil suit in a court of law to recover the deposits.
QUES 20. What is the role of Company Law Board in protecting the interest of depositors? How one can approach it?
ANS 20. Where an NBFC fails to repay any deposit or part thereof in accordance with the terms and conditions of such deposit, the Company Law Board (CLB) either on its own motion or on an application from the depositor, directs by order the non-banking financial company to make repayment of such deposit or part thereof forthwith or within such time and subject to such conditions as may be specified in the order.
As explained above, the depositor can approach CLB by mailing an application in prescribed form to the appropriate bench of the Company Law Board according to its territorial jurisdiction alongwith the prescribed fee.
QUES 21. Can you give the addresses of the various benches of the Company Law Board (CLB) indicating their respective jurisdiction?
ANS 21. The details of addresses and territorial jurisdiction of the bench officers of CLB are as under:
QUES 22. We hear that in a number of cases official liquidators have been appointed on the defaulting NBFCs. What is their role and how one can approach them?
ANS 22. Official Liquidator is appointed by the court after giving the company reasonable opportunity of being heard in a winding up petition. The liquidator performs duties of winding up and such duties in reference thereto as the court may impose.
QUES 23. Consumer Court play useful role in attending to depositors problems. Can one approach Consumer Forum, Civil Court, CLB simultaneously?
ANS 23. Yes, a depositor can approach any or all of the redressal authorities i.e consumer forum, court or CLB.
QUES 24. Is there an Ombudsman for hearing complaints against NBFCs?
ANS 24. No, there is no Ombudsman for hearing complaints against NBFCs. However, in respect of credit card operations of an NBFC, if a complainant does not get satisfactory response from the NBFC within a maximum period of thirty (30) days from the date of lodging the complaint, the customer will have the option to approach the Office of the concerned Banking Ombudsman for redressal of his grievance/s.
QUES 25. What are various prudential regulations applicable to NBFCs?
ANS 25. The Bank has issued detailed directions on prudential norms, vide Non-Banking Financial Companies Prudential Norms (Reserve Bank) Directions, 1998. The directions interalia, prescribe guidelines on income recognition, asset classification and provisioning requirements applicable to NBFCs, exposure norms, constitution of audit committee, disclosures in the balance sheet, requirement of capital adequacy, restrictions on investments in land and building and unquoted shares.
QUES 26. Please explain the terms ‘owned fund’ and ‘net owned fund’ in relation to NBFCs?
ANS 26. ‘Owned Fund’ means aggregate of the paid-up equity capital and free reserves as disclosed in the latest balance sheet of the company after deducting therefrom accumulated balance of loss, deferred revenue expenditure and other intangible assets.
QUES 27. What are the responsibilities of the NBFCs accepting/holding public deposits with regard to submission of Returns and other information to RBI?
ANS 27. The NBFCs accepting public deposits should furnish to RBI
QUES 28. What are the documents or the compliance required to be submitted to the Reserve Bank of India by the NBFCs not accepting/holding public deposits?
ANS 28. The NBFCs having assets of Rs. 100 crore and above but not accepting public deposits are required to submit a Monthly Return on important financial parameters of the company. All companies not accepting public deposits have to pass a board resolution to the effect that they have neither accepted public deposit nor would accept any public deposit during the year.
QUES 29. The NBFCs have been made liable to pay interest on the overdue matured deposits if the company has not been able to repay the matured public deposits on receipt of a claim from the depositor. Please elaborate the provisions.
ANS 29. As per Reserve Bank’s Directions, overdue interest is payable to the depositors in case the company has delayed the repayment of matured deposits, and such interest is payable from the date of receipt of such claim by the company or the date of maturity of the deposit whichever is later, till the date of actual payment. If the depositor has lodged his claim after the date of maturity, the company would be liable to pay interest for the period from the date of claim till the date of repayment. For the period between the date of maturity and the date of claim it is the discretion of the company to pay interest.
QUES 30. Can a company pre-pay its public deposits?
ANS 30. AN NBFC accepts deposits under a mutual contract with its depositors. In case a depositor requests for pre-mature payment, Reserve Bank of India has prescribed Regulations for such an eventuality in the Non-Banking Financial Companies Acceptance of Public Deposits (Reserve Bank) Directions, 1998 wherein it is specified that NBFCs cannot grant any loan against a public deposit or make premature repayment of a public deposit within a period of three months (lock-in period) from the date of its acceptance. However, in the event of death of a depositor, the company may, even within the lock-in period, repay the deposit at the request of the joint holders with survivor clause / nominee / legal heir only against submission of relevant proof, to the satisfaction of the company.
QUES 31. What is the liquid asset requirement for the deposit taking companies? Where these assets are kept? Do depositors have any claims on them?
ANS 31. In terms of Section 45-IB of the RBI Act, 1934, the minimum level of liquid asset to be maintained by NBFCs is 15 per cent of public deposits outstanding as on the last working day of the second preceding quarter. Of the 15%, NBFCs are required to invest not less than ten percent in approved securities and the remaining 5% can be in unencumbered term deposits with any scheduled commercial bank. Thus, the liquid assets may consist of Government securities, Government guaranteed bonds and term deposits with any scheduled commercial bank.
ANS 32. Housing Finance Companies, Merchant Banking Companies, Stock Exchanges, Companies engaged in the business of stock-broking/sub-broking, Venture Capital Fund Companies, Nidhi Companies, Insurance companies and Chit Fund Companies are NBFCs but they have been exempted from the requirement of registration under Section 45-IA of the RBI Act, 1934 subject to certain conditions.
It may also be mentioned that Mortgage Guarantee Companies have been notified as Non-Banking Financial Companies under Section 45 I(f)(iii) of the RBI Act, 1934.
QUES 33. There are some entities (not companies) which carry on activities like that of NBFCs. Are they allowed to take deposits? Who regulates them?
ANS 33. Any person who is an individual or a firm or unincorporated association of individuals cannot accept deposits except by way of loan from relatives, if his/its business wholly or partly includes loan, investment, hire-purchase or leasing activity or principal business is that of receiving of deposits under any scheme or arrangement or in any manner or lending in any manner.
QUES 34. What is a Residuary Non-Banking Company (RNBC)? In what way it is different from other NBFCs?
ANS 34. Residuary Non-Banking Company is a class of NBFC which is a company and has as its principal business the receiving of deposits, under any scheme or arrangement or in any other manner and not being Investment, Asset Financing, Loan Company. These companies are required to maintain investments as per directions of RBI, in addition to liquid assets. The functioning of these companies is different from those of NBFCs in terms of method of mobilisation of deposits and requirement of deployment of depositors\' funds as per Directions. Besides, Prudential Norms Directions are applicable to these companies also.
QUES 35. We understand that there is no ceiling on raising of deposits by RNBCs, then how safe is deposit with them?
ANS 35. It is true that there is no ceiling on raising of deposits by RNBCs but every RNBC has to ensure that the amounts deposited and investments made by the company are not less than the aggregate amount of liabilities to the depositors.
QUES 36. Can RNBC forfeit deposit if deposit installments are not paid regularly or discontinued?
ANS 36. No Residuary Non-Banking Company shall forfeit any amount deposited by the depositor, or any interest, premium, bonus or other advantage accrued thereon.
QUES 37. Please tell us something on rate of interest payable by RNBCs on deposits and maturity period of deposits?
ANS 37. The amount payable by way of interest, premium, bonus or other advantage, by whatever name called by a RNBC in respect of deposits received shall not be less than the amount calculated at the rate of 5% (to be compounded annually) on the amount deposited in lump sum or at monthly or longer intervals; and at the rate of 3.5% (to be compounded annually) on the amount deposited under daily deposit scheme. Further, a RNBC can accept deposits for a minimum period of 12 months and maximum period of 84 months from the date of receipt of such deposit. They cannot accept deposits repayable on demand.