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Wilful defaults fall marginally in pandemic-hit FY21: TransUnion CIBIL data

In the case of private sector banks, the wilful defaulters' list stood at 1,514 having an outstanding of  ₹22,867 crore as of March 31, 2021, as against 1,658 accounts with an outstanding of  ₹20,741 crore in the year-ago periodPremium
In the case of private sector banks, the wilful defaulters' list stood at 1,514 having an outstanding of 22,867 crore as of March 31, 2021, as against 1,658 accounts with an outstanding of 20,741 crore in the year-ago period

The number of accounts with an exposure of over 25 lakh marked by lenders as wilful defaulters also dipped to 10,898 as of March 31 this year, from 12,242 in the year-ago period, the credit information company said

MUMBAI : The pandemic year saw a marginal fall in the number of cases marked as wilful defaulters by banks, with a 1.90% reduction in the amount outstanding from such borrowers at 2.11 lakh crore at the end of 2020-21, according to data released by TransUnion CIBIL.

The number of accounts with an exposure of over 25 lakh marked by lenders as wilful defaulters also dipped to 10,898 as of March 31 this year, from 12,242 in the year-ago period, the credit information company said.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) defines a wilful defaulter as one who does not pay up despite having the capacity to do so. Once declared as a wilful defaulter, a borrower cannot avail funding from any bank later and banks are known to use this tag as a tool to ensure that borrowers pay up in time.

The government and the RBI had introduced a slew of protections for stressed accounts in view of the pandemic, including a six-month moratorium on stressed asset classification as a non-performing asset and also suspension of the bankruptcy laws.

Among the lenders, the country's largest bank SBI had an increase in total number of wilful defaulters at 1,801 accounts, from 1,640 in the year-ago period. But, the outstanding amounts increased to 67,000 crore as on March 31, as against 1,640 cases having an outstanding of 44,682 crore a year ago.

However, for the nationalised banks, the number declined to 7,418 accounts with an outstanding of 1.18 lakh crore, from the year-ago's 8,781 accounts with an outstanding of 1.44 lakh crore.

In the case of private sector banks, the wilful defaulters' list stood at 1,514 having an outstanding of 22,867 crore as of March 31, 2021, as against 1,658 accounts with an outstanding of 20,741 crore in the year-ago period.

In the past, reports based on RTI (right to information) queries had named borrowers like Gitanjali Gems, Rei Agro and Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery as among the top wilful defaulters. The Central Information Commission's list continued to reflect them as wilful defaulters.

The CIC also released data about defaulters having an outstanding of over 1 crore to the system, which revealed that the number of suit filed accounts of defaults of over 1 crore to be at 20,014 collectively having an outstanding dues of 4.90 lakh crore as on March 31, 2021.

The same number had stood at 27,142 accounts having an outstanding of 7.32 lakh crore in the year-ago period.

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