Non Banking Financial Companies
NBFCs have registered significant growth in recent years both in terms of number and volume of business transactions (Table-2). The equipment leasing and hire purchase finance companies finance productive assets. NBFCs role in financing consumer durables and automobiles are very aggressive. The rapid growth in the business of NBFCs urged for effective regulatory action to protect the interests of investors. The Reserve Bank has started regulating the activities of NBFCs with the twin objectives of ensuring that they subserve the financial system efficiently and do not jeopardise the interest of depositors.
RBI has identified as many as 12 categories of NBFCs. Five of them are regulated by the RBI, Chit funds jointly by the RBI and the Registrar of Chits and two (mutual benefit funds including nidhis and micro finance companies) by the Department of Company Affairs, Government of India. The National Housing Bank (NHB) regulates housing finance companies. Stock Broking and Merchant Banking Companies are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India and insurance companies come under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.
Definition of Non-banking Finance Company:
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, securities, leasing, hire-purchase,
insurance business, and chit business.
Different types of NBFCs:
There are different categories of NBFC's operating in India under the supervisory control of RBI.
1. Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs)
2. Residuary Non-banking Finance companies(RNBCs).
3. Miscellaneous Non-Banking Finance Companies (MNBCs) and
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, Leasing, Hire-Purchase, 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 mobilization of deposits and requirement of deployment of depositors' funds. Peerless Financial Company is the example of RNBCs.
Miscellaneous Non-Banking Financial Companies are another type of NBFCs and MNBC means a company carrying on all or any of the types of business as collecting, managing, conducting or supervising as a promoter or in any other capacity, conducting any other form of chit or kuri which is different from the type of business mentioned above and any other business similar to the business as referred above.
Type of Services provided by NBFCs:
NBFCs provide range of financial services to their clients. Types of services under non-banking finance services include the following:
1. Hire Purchase Services
2. Leasing Services
3. Housing Finance Services
4. Asset Management Services
5. Venture Capital Services
6. Mutual Benefit Finance Services (Nidhi) banks.
The above type of companies may be further classified into those accepting deposits or those not accepting deposits.
Now we take a look at each type of service that an NBFC could undertake.
Hire Purchase Services
Hire purchase the legal term for a conditional sale contract with an intention to finance consumers towards vehicles, white goods etc. If a buyer cannot afford to pay the price as a lump sum but can afford to pay a percentage as a deposit, the contract allows the buyer to hire the goods for a monthly rent. If the buyer defaults in paying the installments, the owner can repossess the goods. HP is a different form of credit system among other unsecured consumer credit systems and benefits. Hero Honda Motor Finance Co., Bajaj Auto Finance Company is some of the HP financing companies.
A lease or tenancy is a contract that transfers the right to possess specific property. Leasing service includes the leasing of assets to other companies either on operating lease or finance lease. An NBFC may obtain license to commence leasing services subject to , they shall not hold, deal or trade in real estate business and shall not fix the period of lease for less than 3 years in the case of any finance lease agreement except in case of computers and other IT accessories. First Century Leasing Company Ltd., Sundaram Finance Ltd. is some of the Leasing companies in India.
Housing Finance Services
Housing Finance Services means financial services related to development and construction of residential and commercial properties. An Housing Finance Company approved by the National Housing Bank may undertake the services /activities such as Providing long term finance for the purpose of constructing, purchasing or renovating any property, Managing public or private sector projects in the housing and urban development sector and Financing against existing property by way of mortgage. ICICI Home Finance Ltd., LIC Housing Finance Co. Ltd., HDFC is some of the housing finance companies in our country.
Asset Management Company
Asset Management Company is managing and investing the pooled funds of retail investors in securities in line with the stated investment objectives and provides more diversification, liquidity, and professional management service to the individual investors. Mutual Funds are comes under this category. Most of the financial institutions having their subsidiaries as Asset Management Company like SBI, BOB, UTI and many others.
Venture Capital Companies
Venture capital Finance is a unique form of financing activity that is undertaken on the belief of high-risk-high-return. Venture capitalists invest in those risky projects or companies (ventures) that have success potential and could promise sufficient return to justify such gamble. Venture capitalist not only provides finance but also often provides managerial or technical expertise to venture projects. In India, venture capital concentrate on seed capital finance for high technology and for research & development. ICICI ventures and Gujarat Venture are one of the first venture capital organizations in India and SIDBI, IDBI and others also promoting venture capital finance activities.
Mutual Benefit Finance Companies (MBFC's),
A mutual fund is a financial intermediary that allows a group of investors to pool their money together with a predetermined investment objective. The mutual fund will have a fund manager who is responsible for investing the pooled money into specific securities/bonds. Mutual funds are one of the best investments ever created because they are very cost efficient and very easy to invest in. By pooling money together in a mutual fund, investors can purchase stocks or bonds with much lower trading costs than if they tried to do it on their own. But the biggest advantage to mutual funds is diversification.
There are two main types of such funds, open-ended fund and close-ended mutual funds. In case of open-ended fund, the fund manager continuously allows investors to join or leave the fund. The fund is set up as a trust, with an independent trustee, who keeps custody over the assets of the trust. Each share of the trust is called a Unit and the fund itself is called a Mutual Fund. The portfolio of investments of the Mutual Fund is normally evaluated daily by the fund manager on the basis of prevailing market prices of the securities in the portfolio and this will be divided by the number of units issued to determine the Net Asset Value (NAV) per unit. An investor can join or leave the fund on the basis of the NAV per unit.
In contrast, a close-end fund is similar to a listed company with respect to its share capital. These shares are not redeemable and are traded in the stock exchange like any other listed securities. Value of units of close-end funds is determined by market forces and is available at 20-30% discount to their NAV.
Financial Sector Reforms & Liberalization measures for NBFCs
During the period from 1992-93 to 1995-96 Indian Government took many steps to reform the financial sector like liberalized bank norms, higher ceiling on term loans, allowed to set their own interest rates, freed to fix their own foreign exchange open position subject of RBI approval and guidelines issued to ensure qualitative improvement in their customer service.
Foreign equity investments in NBFCs are permitted in more than17 categories of NBFC activities approved for foreign equity investments such as merchant banking, stock broking, venture capital, housing finance, forex broking, leasing and finance, financial consultancy etc. Guidelines for foreign investment in NBFC sector have been amended so as to provide for a minimum capitalization norm for the activities, which are not fund based and only advisory, or consultancy in nature, irrespective of the foreign equity participation level.
The objectives behind the reforms in the financial sector are to improve the efficiency and competitiveness in the systems.
Recent trends in Non-Banking Financial Companies Sector
NBFCs initially cater to the needs of individual and small savings investors and later developed into financial institutions, providing services similar to those of banks. NBFCs have many tailor made services for their clients with lesser degree of regulation. They have offered high rate of interest to their investors and atrracted many small size investors. In 1998, Reserve Bank of India implemented unprecedented regulatory measures to safeguard the public deposits.
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.
The RBI has issued guidelines for entry of NBFCs into insurance sector in June 2000 . Accordingly no NBFC registered with RBI having owned fund of Rs.2 Crore as per the last audited Balance Sheet would be permitted to undertake insurance business as agent of insurance companies on fee basis, without any risk participation.
The focus of regulatory initiatives in respect of financial institutions (FIs) during 2004-05 was to strengthen the prudential guidelines relating to asset classification, provisioning, exposure to a single/group borrower and governance norms. Business operations of FIs expanded during 2004-05. Their financial performance also improved, resulting from an increase in net interest income. Significant improvement was also observed in the asset quality of FIs, in general. The capital adequacy ratio of FIs continued to remain at a high level, notwithstanding some decline during the year.
Regulatory initiatives in respect of NBFCs during the year related to issuance of guidelines on credit/debit cards, reporting arrangements for large sized NBFCs not accepting/holding public deposits, norms for premature withdrawal of deposits, cover for public deposits and know your customer (KYC) guidelines. Profitability of NBFCs improved in 2003-04 and 2004-05 mainly on account of containment of expenditure. While gross NPAs of NBFCs, as a group, declined during 2003-04 and 2004-05, net NPAs after declining marginally during 2003-04, increased significantly during 2004-05.
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2. H.R.Machiraju, Merchant banking, third Edition, New age international publishers.
3. Ruddar Datt & K.P.M.Sundharam, Indian Economy, Fortieth Revised Edition, S.Chand & Co.Ltd.,
4. M.Y.Khan, Indian financial system, Fourth Edition, Tata mcgraw Hill
Source: E-mail September 28, 2012
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