The proposed rules are a major enchancment over the extant rules and deal with lots of the inadequacies and incongruities current within the latter. One of many proposed adjustments, which is the requirement for improved granularity in categorising and disclosing data associated to investments would assist in enhancing the transparency of the banks’ standing when it comes to each danger publicity and monetary place. These proposed adjustments are in accordance with the suggestions in our paper on the transparency of banks’ disclosure regime the place we proposed, amongst different suggestions, that banks ought to disclose the quantities of investments within the numerous classes – Held-to-Maturity (HTM), Out there-for-Sale (AFS), Held-for-Commerce (HFT), and the assumptions and methodologies used within the valuation of securities of their funding e-book.
The Dialogue Paper additionally allows banks to carry non-SLR securities, corresponding to company bonds, of their HTM portfolio. Earlier, banks eager to diversify needed to essentially maintain such devices of their buying and selling e-book, both as AFS or HFT. This method subjected them to market value volatility, no matter whether or not the intent of the financial institution was to carry such devices to maturity, or not. This method thus disincentivised banks from diversifying their exposures utilizing debt devices. The proposed regulation permits them to maneuver away from an unique “originate-and-hold-to-maturity” technique, thereby enhancing their capability to handle focus dangers higher. Furthermore, it will additionally enable them to enhance the liquidity of their steadiness sheets.
We additionally commend the RBI’s method of outlining the background, rationale, and guiding rules of the rules earlier than detailing the rules themselves. Nonetheless, we level out sure inconsistencies and omissions within the proposed rules that would undermine the achievement of its goal.
We current detailed suggestions on the Dialogue Paper within the type of solutions to the ten questions posed inside the Dialogue Paper. For issues that fall outdoors the scope of the primary 9 questions, we embrace particular feedback within the tenth reply.
Query 1: Are there any vital points pertaining to the funding portfolio that must be taken up for consideration?
The proposed adjustments within the classification and valuation norms for devices in banks’ funding portfolio search to deliver the regulatory framework nearer to the requirements prescribed within the Indian Accounting Requirements (Ind-AS) and the Worldwide Monetary Reporting Requirements (IFRS). Moreover, the proposed rules additionally make the classification of devices stringent compared to the extant directions, which permit for a laxer classification of devices at preliminary recognition and likewise enable for relative ease of their reclassification later.
Because the Dialogue Paper states in paragraph 5.3, one of many causes to evaluation the extant norms is because of the blurred distinction between the classes – AFS and HFT – of what’s seen because the buying and selling e-book. The dearth of a definite separation between the 2 classes has led to most buying and selling being performed out of AFS portfolio slightly than HFT, thus distorting the buying and selling e-book. The proposed rules search to treatment this by permitting solely these monetary devices that fulfill the Solely Funds of Principal and Curiosity on Principal Excellent (SPPI) criterion to be held within the AFS portfolio. Additionally, the securities held within the AFS portfolio might be held to maturity or bought with none restriction. The intent seems to be, due to this fact, to permit banks to carry, or promote, securities for Asset Legal responsibility Administration (ALM) functions with out having to topic them to a higher valuation frequency, as is relevant for the HFT portfolio. (Per the extant directions, securities held within the AFS portfolio are required to be marked-to-market (MTM) on a quarterly foundation, whereas for these within the HFT class, the MTM requirement is each day). Nonetheless, with none specific restriction on the sale of securities within the AFS portfolio, the arbitrage current within the extant tips would proceed to persist, albeit for a smaller subset of securities.
As an illustration, these devices that are held by the financial institution with the intent of buying and selling, however which additionally meet the SPPI criterion, can nonetheless be traded out of the proposed AFS portfolio, which has a decrease valuation frequency requirement. Primarily, on this case, whereas the financial institution is topic to market danger – within the type of short-term value volatility – the total extent of danger isn’t captured when devices are positioned within the AFS portfolio, as an alternative of HFT. This, in flip, obfuscates the true ranges of danger which the financial institution is uncovered to, and might probably restrict the effectiveness of the financial institution’s total danger administration technique. Subsequently, to make sure that devices held for buying and selling usually are not misclassified as AFS, it is vital that the RBI embrace specific limitations on the sale of securities within the AFS portfolio in order that it may possibly higher obtain its acknowledged goal and stop the distortion of the buying and selling e-book.
Query 2: Are there some other overarching rules that the RBI ought to contemplate whereas updating the present framework?
The guiding rules outlined for updating the present framework of rules are an vital facet of the Dialogue Paper as they kind the premise for the present as effectively any potential future revision(s)/modification(s) to the norms. Whereas the proposed rules are largely related for the efficient regulation of the funding portfolio, we share beneath a priority concerning the framing of one of many rules.
Guiding Precept (e) reads – ‘The problems particular to the Indian context must be addressed and given due weightage within the revised framework.’ As readability on the that means and interpretation of the time period ‘Indian context’ isn’t supplied within the guideline itself, there’s scope for ambiguity within the interpretation of this precept. Furthermore, it could be apt to contemplate Guiding Precept e) as an implicit precept that guides the framing of not simply the proposed norms on this Dialogue Paper, however of all of RBI’s rules. The RBI may as an alternative present the rationale for any context-specific norms which can have been drafted, why there was a have to deviate from world requirements, and an evaluation laying out the prices and advantages of such norms to monetary service suppliers. Such an articulation of contextual components (if any) would scale back the potential ambiguity within the interpretation of the precept whereas additionally preserving financial substance.
Query 3: Ought to banks be given the irrevocable possibility at preliminary recognition (or on transition to this framework) to categorise their investments in fairness shares of their subsidiaries, associates, and joint ventures below FVTPL or AFS like some other fairness instrument as an alternative of the obligatory classification as HTM proposed above?
Fairness investments in such ventures are more likely to be long-term and strategic in nature, with none goal of buying and selling for capital appreciation. Subsequently, it will seem applicable to protect financial institution steadiness sheets from brief time period fluctuations of the funding’s market value. Thus, a classification of most such investments as HTM is legitimate.
Nonetheless, if a financial institution had been to make use of a portion of those investments for the aim of buying and selling, even with the exemption of such securities from the sale threshold limits below the HTM class, the accounting norms on good points arising from gross sales out of HTM preclude the financial institution from absolutely making the most of adjustments in honest worth of those investments. Subsequently, the proposal of obligatory classification of a financial institution’s investments in fairness shares of their subsidiaries, associates, and joint ventures as HTM could also be restrictive and even seen as impinging on the financial institution’s freedom to pursue its enterprise technique.
Additional, it is vital that these shares be recurrently assessed to verify for any everlasting diminution of worth. Subsequently, it’s helpful that the proposed tips deal with this facet by means of the quarterly evaluation of HTM securities for impairment. We elaborate, within the reply to Query 5, how these impairment assessments might be improved to offer a good presentation of the banks’ monetary statements.
Query 5: Clause 9(a) of the Reserve Financial institution of India (Classification, Valuation and Operation of Funding Portfolio of Industrial Banks) Instructions, 2021 (i.e., the Grasp Route) offers sure assessments for impairment. Is there a necessity for specifying extra indicators of potential impairment?
The extant directions pertaining to the prudential norms on the classification and valuation of funding portfolio give a prescribed set of circumstances below which impairment is set. Per the extant directions, the necessity to decide whether or not impairment has occurred shall come up within the following circumstances:
- On the occurring of an occasion which means that impairment has occurred which, on the minimal, shall embrace:
- the corporate has defaulted in reimbursement of its debt obligations.
- the mortgage quantity of the corporate with any financial institution has been restructured.
- the credit standing of the corporate has been downgraded to beneath funding grade.
- The corporate has incurred losses for a steady interval of three years and the networth has consequently been lowered by 25 p.c or extra.
- Within the case of a brand new firm or a brand new challenge when the initially projected date of reaching the breakeven level has been prolonged i.e., the corporate or the challenge has not achieved break-even inside the gestation interval as initially envisaged.
Provided that, below Indian Typically Accepted Accounting Ideas, impairment itself is predicated on incurred loss and never anticipated loss (as in Ind-AS), the relevance of the impairment train is additional lowered when there’s solely a restricted set of circumstances below which impairment is assessed. Additionally, many of those prescribed circumstances – corresponding to when the corporate has defaulted in reimbursement of its debt obligations, and when the mortgage quantity of the corporate has been restructured – are these which are triggered after the occasion of default.
The relevance and value of the impairment check might be additional improved if these impairment assessments are forward-looking. Whereas the extant directions point out that these are the ‘minimal’ options that have to be thought-about, it will be prudent to incorporate further assessments that higher consider impairment or a major enhance in credit score danger like these specified by Ind-AS requirements. A few of these are:
a) Important adjustments in exterior market indicators of credit score danger such because the credit score unfold and market data associated to the borrower, corresponding to antagonistic adjustments within the costs of a borrower’s debt and fairness devices.
b) Important adjustments in sides of the borrower’s working outcomes that transcend simply networth, corresponding to declining revenues or margins, elevated steadiness sheet leverage, administration issues, or different components that considerably have an effect on the borrower’s capability to service their debt obligations.
c) Important adjustments within the worth of the collateral supporting the asset or within the high quality of third-party ensures or credit score enhancements which could cut back the borrower’s incentive to make the scheduled contractual fee.
Query 6: Is the definition of ‘energetic market’ as given above with illustrative examples sufficient? Are there some other markets that might be thought-about as ‘energetic markets’? Feedback could also be supplied with rationale.
Whereas the definition of ‘energetic markets’ as laid out in paragraph 7.29 is sufficient at a precept degree, there’s a lack of readability within the given illustrative examples. As an illustration, it’s unclear what is supposed by ‘recognised inventory exchanges for SENSEX/NIFTY shares.’ It isn’t clear whether or not all recognised inventory exchanges, and the shares traded in them, must be thought-about as energetic markets or that solely shares of entities which are a part of SENSEX/NIFTY which are traded in recognised inventory exchanges be thought-about as energetic markets? Within the case of the latter, the definition of an ‘energetic market’ can be slightly restrictive as fairness shares not included within the benchmark indices may even have sufficient liquidity. As an illustration, the 1-month common buying and selling quantity of Vodafone Thought’s shares is 42 Crore variety of shares, whereas the equal determine for Reliance Industries, which is a part of the SENSEX (BSE 30), is 68 Lakh variety of shares. We suggest that, along with illustrative examples, there even be an indicative listing of options (corresponding to a low bid-ask unfold or each day buying and selling volumes above a threshold) that an ‘energetic market’ for an asset or a legal responsibility may possess.
Query 7: Is the definition of ‘unobservable inputs’ as given above with the illustrative examples sufficient?
In paragraph 7.30, the illustrative instance for the investments whose valuation is presumed to be based mostly on unobservable inputs contains mutual funds that make investments greater than 10% of their corpus in unquoted devices. That is unduly restrictive because the regulation treats the valuation of unquoted devices on par with that of mutual funds, whose models are listed, and but have 10% or extra of their corpus in unquoted devices. The liquidity of the mutual fund unit is extra pertinent than the valuation of the underlying securities themselves.
Query 8: Ought to the IFR proceed? In that case, at what degree ought to it’s set and the way a lot time must be given to banks to attain that degree?
Because the Dialogue Paper mentions, the rationale for the Funding Fluctuation Reserve (IFR) is to guard banks from curiosity cycles. Traditionally, RBI has given particular dispensation to banks on events when the rate of interest cycle turned antagonistic. As an illustration, throughout instances of sustained rises in G-sec yields, banks had been allowed to, in 2005, shift securities from different classes into HTM, and in 2013, defer recognition of valuation losses by six months. Defending its portfolio in opposition to antagonistic market actions is prudent danger administration for a financial institution and all banks ought to make use of applicable danger administration methods to attain the identical. It isn’t the regulator’s remit to design and implement operational danger administration methods for banks nor ought to it present particular dispensations going ahead. Thus, each the IFR and any associated regulatory forbearance must be discontinued.
Query 10: Are there any proposals you don’t agree with? If sure, please present separate feedback for every proposal you don’t absolutely agree with mentioning the proposal quantity, the particular paragraph quantity and causes for disagreement. Feedback can be helpful, in the event that they clearly articulate implementation difficulties or conceptual points together with various proposals.
The next factors listing our issues concerning particular factors within the proposal.
- Paragraph 7.4 particulars the kind of securities that may be labeled as HTM. The listing doesn’t embrace debt devices with floating charge coupons linked to a market-determined rate of interest. These devices meet the SPPI criterion and if the financial institution had been to have an intent to carry such devices to maturity, they need to be allowed to be labeled as HTM. Nonetheless, as such devices usually are not included within the illustrative examples in paragraph 7.4, it’s unclear whether or not these devices qualify to be labeled as HTM.
- In paragraph 7.6, within the illustrative listing of devices that have to be categorised as FVTPL, solely investments in pass-through certificates (PTCs) representing the fairness tranche of a securitisation transaction are included. The paragraph additionally states that investments in different senior and mezzanine tranches shall have to be reviewed for his or her compliance with the SPPI criterion. Nonetheless, it’s unclear whether or not such investments (PTCs of senior or mezzanine tranches) might be held in HTM, if the intent is to carry them to maturity. The dearth of a transparent directive concerning PTCs would act as a barrier for banks to increase their (HTM) investments in PTCs. This in flip can probably block liquidity sources for these establishments which straight originate belongings, particularly within the precedence sector.
- Paragraph 7.6 which provides the illustrative listing of devices that have to be categorised as FVTPL lists ‘Securitisation receipts’ as one of many devices. The rules have to explicitly specify that securitisation receipts are from the sale of non-standard belongings, and never that of normal belongings.
- Paragraph 5.3 mentions that the uneven remedy of the AFS/HFT portfolios within the present framework is likely one of the causes for revising it. Nonetheless, the rules then stipulate that the preliminary valuation of devices that aren’t quoted and can’t be valued by means of market variables, can be finished in an uneven method. The rationale given (in paragraph 7.10) for the uneven remedy is that the BR Act (Banking Regulation Act, 1949) requires banks to recognise all losses and bills earlier than paying out dividends. Nonetheless, that also doesn’t clarify why good points have to be amortised over the interval of the asset’s lifetime and never recognised immediately. If the RBI’s rationale behind persevering with the uneven remedy is a matter of following the precept of prudence, it should explicitly state so. Additionally, a transparent distinction must be made between unrealised and realised losses/good points.
The proposed rules, if and when applied, would achieve addressing a number of main and long-standing points with the present framework on banks’ funding portfolio. We wholeheartedly welcome a number of important adjustments within the tips pertaining to a) the eligibility of non-SLR securities to be held in HTM b) the categorisation of investments into honest worth hierarchies and c) the elevated requirement for disclosures within the notes to accounts. Nonetheless, there are nonetheless some points, if left unaddressed, would diminish the importance and effectivity of the proposed measures. As an illustration, the norms on the hierarchy of valuation strategies are held again by the dearth of readability on the interpretation and utility of the definition of energetic markets. The allowing of non-SLR securities to be labeled as HTM should even be bolstered by strong impairment assessments, and readability on the eligibility of particular devices corresponding to PTCs of senior and mezzanine tranches. Furthermore, the excellence between the buying and selling e-book classes must be clear sufficient to handle the buying and selling e-book distortions.
Nonetheless, it’s laudable that the proposed tips would deliver the Reserve Financial institution’s tips on valuation of the funding portfolio nearer according to that of world requirements of accounting and danger administration. This is able to additionally ease the method of future implementation of Ind-AS for banks. Along with enhancing the regulation and disclosure regime on the entity degree, the proposed adjustments would have a optimistic impact from a systemic danger standpoint as effectively. With the proposed adjustments on eligibility of non-SLR securities to be labeled as HTM, banks can higher handle their focus dangers and likewise enhance the liquidity of their steadiness sheets. Additional, as banks are important members within the investor market, this proposed change may additionally help within the improvement of the bond market, which in flip would have far-reaching optimistic results on systemic stability and monetary market resilience.
 Srinivas, Madhu, et al. ” Assessing Transparency of Indian Banking System’s Public Threat Disclosure Regime – A Regulation Primarily based Strategy.” 2021. Dvara Analysis.
 Threat administration technique for giant branch-based banks to ship credit score extra successfully to low-income households and small companies. Supply – Chapter 4.2, Committee on Complete Monetary Providers for Small Companies and Low-Earnings Households. 2014. RBI Publications. Retrieved from: https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/PublicationReport/Pdfs/CFS070114RFL.pdf
 Paragraph 5.2, Ibid.
 Part 5, Ibid
 Paragraph 5.3 level (e), Ibid.
 Part 7, Ibid
 Paragraphs 7.12 and seven.15, Ibid.
 That’s, holding the securities for brief time period resale or to learn from short-term value actions, or to lock in arbitrage income.
 Part 6, Dialogue Paper on Overview of Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operations of Funding Portfolio of Industrial Banks. January 2022. RBI Publications. Retrieved from: https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publications/PDFs/DISCUSSIONPAPER9604DB243FA84169847AC576EBEB593B.PDF
 Per Paragraph 7.20 within the Dialogue Paper, if a financial institution had been to decide on to promote or disinvest from the investments in subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures, it’s free to take action because the sale of such securities is exempt from the brink restrict (5 p.c of the opening carrying worth of the HTM portfolio) of combination gross sales out of HTM.
 Paragraph 7.20, Ibid.
 9 (a) (v), Grasp Route – Classification, Valuation and Operation of Funding Portfolio of Industrial Banks, 2021. August 2021. RBI Grasp Instructions. Retrieved from: https://rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_ViewMasDirections.aspx?id=12153
 As on Feb 9, 2022. Retrieved from: https://www.moneycontrol.com/india/stockpricequote/telecommunications-service/vodafoneidealimited/IC8;
 Paragraph 7.30 level (a), Dialogue Paper on Overview of Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operations of Funding Portfolio of Industrial Banks. January 2022. RBI Publications. Retrieved from: https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publications/PDFs/DISCUSSIONPAPER9604DB243FA84169847AC576EBEB593B.PDF
 Heads I Win, Tails the Regulator Dispenses, Understanding and Managing Curiosity Fee Threat at Banks – Speech by Viral V Acharya, Deputy Governor. January 2018. RBI Speeches and Interview. Retrieved from: https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_SpeechesView.aspx?Id=1053
 Paragraph 7.6 level (a), Dialogue Paper on Overview of Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operations of Funding Portfolio of Industrial Banks. January 2022. RBI Publications. Retrieved from: https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publications/PDFs/DISCUSSIONPAPER9604DB243FA84169847AC576EBEB593B.PDF
 Suggestion 4.10, Committee on Complete Monetary Providers for Small Companies and Low-Earnings Households. 2014. RBI Publications. Retrieved from: https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/PublicationReport/Pdfs/CFS070114RFL.pdf
 Paragraph 7.6 level (b), Dialogue Paper on Overview of Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operations of Funding Portfolio of Industrial Banks. January 2022. RBI Publications. Retrieved from: https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publications/PDFs/DISCUSSIONPAPER9604DB243FA84169847AC576EBEB593B.PDF
 Paragraph 7.10, Dialogue Paper on Overview of Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operations of Funding Portfolio of Industrial Banks. January 2022. RBI Publications. Retrieved from: https://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Publications/PDFs/DISCUSSIONPAPER9604DB243FA84169847AC576EBEB593B.PDF
 Part 4, Ibid.
Cite this Merchandise:
Neelam, A., & Srinivas, M. (2022). Suggestions on the Reserve Financial institution of India’s Dialogue Paper on Overview of Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operations of Funding Portfolio of Industrial Banks dated 14 January 2022. Retrieved from Dvara Analysis.
Neelam, Amulya and Madhu Srinivas. “Suggestions on the Reserve Financial institution of India’s Dialogue Paper on Overview of Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operations of Funding Portfolio of Industrial Banks dated 14 January 2022.” 2022. Dvara Analysis.
Neelam, Amulya, and Madhu Srinivas. 2022. “Suggestions on the Reserve Financial institution of India’s Dialogue Paper on Overview of Prudential Norms for Classification, Valuation and Operations of Funding Portfolio of Industrial Banks dated 14 January 2022.” Dvara Analysis.