This role is, perhaps, the most unheralded aspect of our activities, yet it remains among the most critical. This includes ensuring credit availability to the productive sectors of the economy, establishing institutions designed to build the country’s financial infrastructure, expanding access to affordable financial services and promoting financial education and literacy.

  • India has financial institutions which are not banks but which accept deposits and extend credit like banks. These are called Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) in India.
  • NBFCs in India include not just the finance companies that the general public is largely familiar with; the term also entails wider group of companies that are engaged in investment business, insurance, chit fund, nidhi, merchant banking, stock broking, alternative investments, etc., as their principal business. All are though not under the regulatory purview of the Reserve Bank.
  • The total number of NBFCs as on March 31, 2014 are 12,029 of which deposit taking NBFCs are 241 and non-deposit taking NBFCs with asset size of ‘100 crore and above are 465, non-deposit taking NBFCs with asset size between ‘50 crore and ‘100 crore are 314 and those with asset size less than ‘50 crore are 11,009. The sector today has a total asset size of just around 14 percent of that of scheduled commercial banks (other than RRBs).

Bringing diversity in financial sector

Regulating NBFCs

The challenges

Building a heterogeneous banking system

It is the constant endeavour of the Reserve Bank to enable prudential growth of the sector, keeping in view the multiple objectives of financial stability, consumer and depositor protection, and need for more players in the financial market, addressing regulatory arbitrage concerns while not forgetting the uniqueness of the NBFC sector. The Reserve Bank is, at present, reviewing the regulatory framework for NBFCs.

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