With stressed assets (non-performing assets - NPAs) continuing to rise and expected to get worse, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cautioned that risks to the banking system have increased over the last six months, but added that there are no systemic risks at the moment.
"The banking stability indicator shows that risks to the banking sector have increased since June 2013," the Reserve Bank of India said in its half-yearly Financial Stability Report released today.
The indicator combines the impact on all major risk dimensions, said the RBI, which has carried out multiple tests before coming to this conclusion.
"The strain on asset quality continues to be a major concern," the report said.
With the present conditions continuing, the gross NPAs in the system will rise to 4.6 per cent by September 2014 from 4.2 per cent in September 2013 or about Rs 2.29 trillion from Rs 1.67 trillion a year earlier, it said.
The amount of recast loans touched an all-time high of 4 trillion or 10.2 per cent of the overall advances as of September 2013, the report added.
However, the RBI expects some positives in the second half of the next fiscal and is estimating gross NPAs to improve to 4.4 per cent by March 2015.
In case the economic conditions deteriorate, the same number will be 7 per cent by March 2015, the RBI warned.
The state-run banks will be the worst-affected, the report said, pegging the GNPAs for public sector banks at 4.9 per cent by March 2015. It projected the GNPAs for private banks at 2.7 per cent in the same period.
If the restructured assets are added, the total stressed advances ratio will rise to 10.2 per cent as of September 2013 from the 9.2 per cent in March 2013, the RBI said.
The report reiterates that RBI will discontinue the system of relaxed restructuring of advances from 2015 onwards and warned that state-run banks will be affected the most as the provisions will shoot up.
"The regulatory concerns regarding restructuring arises from the possibility of the relaxations not being used judiciously by banks commensurate with the viability of projects. These relaxations for asset classification/provisioning will be phased out by April 2015," it said.
The report said though agriculture accounted for the highest GNPAs at 5.5 per cent as of the quarter to September 2013, it is