FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE OF NON BANKING FINANCE COMPANIES IN INDIA Amita S. Kantawala (Reader in Management Studies, M.S. Patel Institute of Management Studies, M.S. University of Baroda, Baroda) Introduction The financial system comprises of financial institutions, financial instruments and financial markets that provide an effective payment and credit system and thereby facilitate channelising of funds from savers to the investors of the economy. In India considerable growth has taken place in the Non-banking financial sector in last two decades. Over a period of time they are successful in rendering a wide range of services. Initially intended to cater to the needs of savers and investors, NBFCs later on developed into institutions that can provide services similar to banks. In India several factors have contributed to the growth of NBFCs. They provide tailor made services to their clients. Comprehensive regulation of the banking system and absence or relatively lower degree of regulation over NBFCs have been some of the main reasons for the growth momentum of the latter. It has been revealed by some research studies that economic development and growth of NBFCs are positively related. In this regard the World Development Report has observed that in the developing counties banks hold a major share of financial assets than they do in the industrially developed countries1. As the demand for financial services grow, countries need to encourage the development NBFCs and securities market in order to broaden the range of services and stimulate competition and efficiency. In India the last decade has witnessed a phenomenal increase in the number of NBFCs. The number of such companies stood at 7063 in 1981, at 15358 in 1985 and it increased to 24009 by 1990 and to 55995 in 1995.2 The main reason for deposits with NBFCs are greater customer orientation and higher rate of interest offered by them as compared to banks. With such a dramatic growth in the numbers of NBFCs it was thought necessary to have a regulatory framework for NBFCs. Slowly the RBI came out with set of guidelines for NBFCs. In one of such step RBI gave definition of NBFCs. According to Reserve Bank (Amendment act, 1997) “A Non Banking Finance Company (NBFC)” means- i) a financial institution which is a company; ii) a non banking institution which is a company and which has as its principal business the receiving of deposits under any scheme or arrangement or in other manner a lending in any manner; iii) such other non banking institution or class of such institutions as the bank may with the previous approval of the central government specify. The definition excludes financial institutions which carry on agricultural operations as their principle business. NBFCs consists mainly of finance companies which carry on functions like hire purchase finance, housing finance, investment, loan, equipment leasing or mutual benefit financial operations, but do not include insurance companies or stock exchange or stock broking companies.3 To encourage the NBFCs that are run on sound business principles, on July 24, 1996 NBFCs were divided into two classes: i) equipment leasing and hire purchase companies (finance companies) and ii) loan and investment companies. However, the NBFCs segment of finance was less regulated over a period of time. On account of the CRB scam and the inability of some of the NBFCs to meet with the investors demand for return of the deposits the need was felt by the Reserve Bank of India to increase the regulations for the NBFCs. In the light of this background Reserve Bank of India came out with the guidelines on January 2, 1998. The salient features of this guideline are given below.4 1)
Volume 49, No.1
The acceptance of deposits has been prohibited for the NBFCs having net owned funds less than Rs.25 lakhs. 2) The extent of public deposit raising is linked to credit rating and for equipment leasing and hire purchase companies it can be...