RBI’s CRR move to put monthly burden of Rs1,050 crore on banks

According to experts RBI’s move for banks to maintain excess cash reserve ratio is likely to result into over Rs3 trillion outflow


India Ratings and Research said the relief from RBI on CRR would come in a staggered manner, as relieving this high quantum of liquidly all at once will come with challenges. Photo: Reuters
India Ratings and Research said the relief from RBI on CRR would come in a staggered manner, as relieving this high quantum of liquidly all at once will come with challenges. Photo: Reuters

Mumbai: Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) move for banks to maintain excess cash reserve ratio (CRR) requirement is likely to put an additional burden of Rs1,050 crore on a monthly basis on the banking system, says a report.

“Excess CRR requirement will additionally cost the banking system Rs1,050 crore on a monthly basis,” India Ratings and Research said in a note on Wednesday. In order to absorb surplus liquidity accrued by banks, RBI last week asked banks to maintain 100% of the deposits (NDTL) accrued between 16 September and 11 November as incremental CRR balance with it.

RBI, however, said it was a purely temporary measure. According to experts the move is likely to result into over Rs3 trillion outflow from the banks. The rating agency said the relief from RBI on CRR would come in a staggered manner, as relieving this high quantum of liquidly all at once will come with challenges.

“Normalisation of the CRR requirement will be gradual and staggered as the RBI may exercise caution before releasing the mopped up Rs3 trillion to banks,” the note said. It said the persistence of the surplus liquidity conditions will lead the RBI to evaluate alternatives available for liquidity sterilisation.

The agency continues to believe cash management bills can effectively manage the liquidity—owing to their short tenor and consistency with the monetary policy stance. It said the decision to mop up excess liquidity will ensure a floor is put on bond yields. The agency also expects banks to be more proactive in bringing down their term deposit rates as the increase in CRR requirement creates a drag on the short-term profitability of banks.

The move, which is temporary in nature, does not impair the longer term profitability of banks, but induces a larger negative carry on CRR in the computation of the marginal cost-based lending rate (MCLR). The offsetting impact of a larger negative carry on CRR compared with cheaper deposits would restrict any significant downward movement of MCLR, hampering smooth monetary transmission, it said.

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