Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Paralysis in banking?

The political backlash to the PNB scam is taking its toll on public sector banks (PSBs). The resolution framework proposed by RBI is likely to make matters worse- most default cases will head almost by, well, default, to the NCLT. PSBs are being denied the capital they need and they are likely to be in a state of limbo while private sector banks steal market share from them.

This is happening because policy makers want this outcome. They want to shrink the role of PSBs and increase that of private sector banks. If the present government is returned to power in 2019, it will move to amend the Banking Regulation Act so that the government's share in PSBs can fall below 51%, thus paving the way for privatisation of at least some PSBs. Until then, however, the Indian economy will pay a price for PSBs being frozen where they are.

More in my BS column, The spectre of banking paralysis.