Defaulters owe 27% of total amount to SBI alone, PNB next
New Delhi: Country’s largest lender SBI accounts for over 27% of the total amount owed to public sector banks by wilful defaulters. As many as 1,762 wilful defaulters owed Rs25,104 crore to State Bank of India as on 31 March, putting pressure on its balance sheet.
Punjab National Bank (PNB) is next on the list with 1,120 wilful defaulters having outstanding non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of Rs12,278 crore. Together these two banks account for Rs37,382 crore or 40% of the total outstanding loans. Total outstanding loans due to public sector banks by wilful defaulters amounted to Rs92,376 crore, according to the Finance Ministry data.
The total outstanding loans by wilful defaulters rose to Rs92,376 crore at the end of financial year 2016-17, from Rs76,685 crore at the end of last fiscal 2015-16 -- up 20.4%. At the same time, there has been close to 10% increase in the number of wilful defaulters on annual basis. It increased to 8,915 at the end of March as against 8,167 in the previous fiscal.
Out of 8,915 cases of wilful defaults, banks have filed FIR (First Information Report) in 1,914 cases with outstanding loans of Rs32,484 crore. During 2016-17, 27 public sector banks, including SBI and its five associates had written off Rs81,683 crore, the highest in the last five fiscals.
The amount was 41% higher than that in the previous fiscal. Gross NPAs of the public sector banks rose to Rs6.41 lakh crore at the end of March 2017 as against Rs5.02 lakh crore a year ago.
In order to check incidences of wilful default, RBI has tightened the norms and made it clear that promoter of the defaulting company cannot escape from his responsibility even if he is not a whole time director.
As per earlier guidelines, a bank couldn’t label a non- whole-time director of a company as a wilful defaulter unless there was conclusive evidence that the individual was aware of the wilful default by the company and had not objected to it.
A wilful default occurs when a borrower doesn’t honour an obligation despite having the capacity to pay or siphons off funds by disposing of assets without the knowledge of the bank, according to RBI. RBI has allowed banks to name and shame wilful defaulters by publishing their photographs.