Bad Bank: Comment by P Vaidyanathan Iyer - Indian IPO Blog

Monday, February 1, 2021

Bad Bank: Comment by P Vaidyanathan Iyer

BAD BANK: A BOLD MOVE P Vaidyanathan Iyer writes The principle behind: It’s more about the principle of separating the good from the bad. It’s about not wasting more good money on bad assets. Former RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya has in the past stressed on the need to separate the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’, and to set up a bad bank. Almost years, the wait is over: The government has been toying for far too long with the idea of a National Asset Reconstruction Company that can hold the bad assets of all state-owned banks. The proposal has gone around in circles between the Finance Ministry, the Niti Aayog and the Prime Minister’s Office. Spooked by Opposition politics earlier, Modi had shied away from being labelled as being pro-corporate. This proposal marks a departure. After almost 70 months since being in power, the BJP-led government has finally taken a call on setting up a Big Bad Bank. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a new asset reconstruction company and an asset management company to take care of the bad assets of banks, and equip the banks to lend to productive sectors as the economy starts recovering. Why it requires Govt involvement: There are many mechanisms to proceed with how to realise value from the NARC. Though India has over a dozen private ARCs, no state-owned banker in the current environment will be courageous enough to sell his bad assets to these at a discount, for fear of prosecution by state investigative agencies at a later date. And private ARCs will ask for a massive haircut from banks. It’s here that a national ARC can inspire confidence amongst banks.

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