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Indian Banks Seek Relief on Liquidity Rules to Boost Lending

10 June 20243 mins read by Angel One
Indian banks are pushing for a relaxation of the present liquidity coverage criteria from the industry regulator. The requests align with the industry's around 80% aggregate credit-deposit ratio.
Indian Banks Seek Relief on Liquidity Rules to Boost Lending
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Indian banks are urging the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, to relax a key liquidity rule to free up more funds for lending. The RBI has raised concerns about a potential mismatch between deposit growth and loan disbursements, which could create future challenges for banks.

What’s the Issue?

The rule in question is the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR). This regulation mandates banks to maintain a specific level of high-quality liquid assets (HQLA), such as government securities, to meet potential short-term funding needs in stressed scenarios. Banks argue that the current LCR requirements are too stringent, limiting their ability to lend.

What are Banks Asking For?

Banking industry representatives have requested the RBI to revise the LCR framework in two key ways:

  • Reduced Outflow Factors: Banks want the RBI to lower the outflow factors assigned to certain categories of deposits, particularly those from corporations and other legal entities. These outflow factors determine the amount of HQLA banks need to hold against each deposit type. Reducing these factors would effectively decrease the overall LCR requirement, freeing up more capital for lending.
  • Stable Retail Deposits: In contrast, some banks anticipate the RBI might raise the outflow factors for retail deposits categorised as “stable” and “less stable.” This is a potential response to recent events like the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, highlighting potential risks associated with retail deposits. Banks are advocating against such an increase for these categories, arguing that the risk of sudden outflows from retail deposits is lower than that from corporates.

The RBI’s caution regarding the credit-deposit ratio stems from a potential imbalance. If loan growth outpaces deposit growth, banks might struggle to meet future funding needs. Relaxing the LCR could address this concern in the short term, but it’s crucial to ensure long-term financial stability.

Looking Ahead

The RBI is likely to carefully consider the banking industry’s requests while balancing the need to support lending activity with maintaining financial stability. Finding the right balance will be critical for ensuring the smooth functioning of the Indian banking sector.

Disclaimer: This blog has been written exclusively for educational purposes. The securities mentioned are only examples and not recommendations. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making related decisions.

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