PCA framework for NBFCs

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December 15, 2021

Why in news?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to put in place a prompt corrective action (PCA) framework for troubled non-banking finance companies to restore their financial health.

What is Prompt Corrective Action (PCA)?

  • History - RBI initiated the Scheme of Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) in 2002.
  • In early 2018, there were 12 banks under PCA framework. Of these, 11 were PSBs.
  • Due to recapitalization & corrective measures there were only six banks (all PSBs) under the PCA framework as of March 2019.
  • Objective - Prompt Corrective Action or PCA is a framework under which financial institutions with weak financial metrics are put under watch by the RBI.
  • Until now, the RBI had imposed PCA only on banks. This is the first time PCA framework is extended to NBFCs.
  • The move comes in the wake of large NBFCs such as IL&FS, DHFL, SREI Group and Reliance Capital getting into financial trouble over the last few years.
  • Applicability - The PCA framework for NBFCs comes into effect from October 1, 2022, based on their financial position on or after March 31, 2022.
  • The framework will apply to all deposit-taking NBFCs, excluding government companies, and all non-deposit taking NBFCs in the middle, upper and top layers.
  • Implications - This is a welcome move as it will stop bad lenders from going worse rather than brushing the issue aside.
  • Safer NBFCs will translate to a safer overall financial system.
  • The PCA framework for NBFCs will be reviewed after 3 years.

What are the tracking indicators?

  • The central bank will track three indicators
    • Capital To Risk-Weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) - It is bank's available capital expressed as a percentage of a bank's risk-weighted credit exposures.
    • Tier I leverage ratio - It is the relationship between a banking organization's core capital and its total assets.
    • Net Non-Performing Assets (NNPAS) Including Non-Performing Investments (NPIS). NPA are loans for which the principal or interest payment remained overdue for a period of over 90 days
  • In the case of core investment companies (CICs), the RBI will track
    • Adjusted Net Worth/Aggregate Risk Weighted Assets.
    • Leverage Ratio
    • NNPAs, including NPIs.
  • A breach in any of the three risk thresholds under the above mentioned indicators could result in invocation of PCA.

What is the Threshold limit?

  • Threshold limit 1 
    • If CRAR fall more than 300 basis points below the minimum required 15% (for both deposit or non deposit taking NBFCs)
    • Tier 1 capital ratio drops 200 basis points below the minimum required 8%
    • NNPA ratio increases above 6%.
  • Threshold limit 2 
    • If capital adequacy falls a further 300 basis points,
    • Tier 1 capital ratio drops another 200 basis points below the minimum required
    • NNPA rises above 9%.
  • Threshold limit 3 
    • Fall in capital adequacy to less than 9%
    • Tier 1 capital to less than 6%
    • NNPA rises above 12%.

What Corrective Actions will be taken under PCA?

  • There are 2 types of Corrective Actions.
    • Mandatory Corrective Actions
    • Discretionary Corrective Actions
  • Based on the risk threshold, the RBI may prescribe discretionary corrective actions in addition to mandatory corrective actions.

Mandatory Corrective Actions under PCA are as follows.

  • For Threshold limit 1 - There will be restriction on
    • Dividend distribution/remittance of profits,
    • Requiring promoters/shareholders to infuse equity and reduce leverage,
    • Restriction on issue of guarantees or taking on other contingent liabilities on behalf of group companies (only for CICs).
  • For Threshold limit 2 -  In addition to restrictions under condition 1, the RBI may
    • Restrict branch expansion.
  • For Threshold limit 3 - In addition to restrictions under condition 1 & 2, the RBI may
    • Impose curbs on capital expenditure other than for technological upgradation.
    • Restrict/ directly reduce variable operating costs.

Discretionary Corrective Actions - Under this, the RBI may 

  • Undertake resolution of NBFC by amalgamation, reconstruction, splitting.
  • File an insolvency application under the IBC and issue show-cause notice for cancellation of certificate of registration and winding up of the NBFC.
  • Recommend to promoters/shareholders to bring in new management/board;
  • Remove managerial persons under the RBI Act, as applicable;
  • Seek removal of director and/or appointment of another person as director in his place;
  • Supersede the board under the RBI Act and appoint an administrator among others.
  • PCA restrictions will be withdrawn if there is no breaches in risk thresholds in any of the parameters  are observed as per four continuous quarterly financial statements
  • However, one of statements should be annual audited financial statement (subject to assessment by RBI) after a RBI led supervision.

What will be the implications?

  • The thresholds around total capital adequacy and Tier-I capital for classification of an NBFC in the PCA category are liberal
  • However some entities could breach the net NPA criterion of more than 6%, if the asset quality does not improve.
  • Once PCA guidelines are applicable entities are expected to bring the NPA levels under control by improving provisions or effecting write-offs.
  • However the sectoral growth will be impacted in the near term, as entities tighten their credit norms and operational focus shifts towards collections.

Quick Facts

  • NPA - Nonperforming assets (NPAs) are recorded on a bank's balance sheet after a prolonged period of non-payment by the borrower.
  • NPAs place financial burden on the lender.
  • NPAs can be classified as a substandard asset, doubtful asset, or loss asset, depending on the length of time overdue and probability of repayment.
  • Lenders have options to recover their losses, including taking possession of any collateral or selling off the loan at a significant discount to a collection agency.
  • If no assets were pledged, the lender might write-off the asset as a bad debt and then sells it at a discount to a collection agency.
  • Capital Adequacy Ratio – It is also known as capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio (CRAR). It is used to protect depositors and promote the stability and efficiency of financial systems.
  • CAR is a measurement of a bank's available capital expressed as a percentage of a bank's risk-weighted credit exposures.
  • Two types of capital are measured.
    • Tier-1 Capital, which can absorb losses without a bank being required to cease trading.
    • Tier-2 Capital, which can absorb losses in the event of a winding-up and so provides a lesser degree of protection to depositors.
  • The downside of using CAR is that it doesn't account what would happen in a financial crisis.
  • The tier 1 leverage ratio – It is the relationship between a banking organization's core capital and its total assets.
  • It is calculated by dividing tier 1 capital by a bank's average total consolidated assets and certain off-balance sheet exposures.
  • A bank with a high capital adequacy ratio is considered to be above the minimum requirements needed to suggest solvency.



  1. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/rbi-comes-out-with-pca-framework-for-nbfcs/articleshow/88277487.cms

  2. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/money-and-banking/with-growing-in-size-rbi-issues-pca-framework-for-nbfcs/article37952943.ece

  3. https://www.investopedia.com/

  4. https://www.indianeconomy.net/splclassroom/what-is-rbis-prompt-corrective-action-pca-framework/



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