Gross non-performing assets of 37 listed banks were at Rs 7.1 lakh crore at the end of March 2017 against Rs 5.71 lakh crore the same time in 2016. Lack of capital at the asset reconstruction companies and the fear of witchhunts by investigative agencies put a freeze on loan recovery.
“The underlying asset to which banks have lent is not performing, so recovery and upgradation will take some more time,” said. Siddharth Purohit, senior research analyst, Angel Broking. “Bigger recovery numbers will be difficult to achieve in FY18 as well, though some recovery may happen on a case-to-case basis.”
Among the PSU sector pack, only Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank managed to deliver on their thrust on bad loans and recovered Rs 10,677 crore and Rs 10,017 crore for the full year FY17, respectively.
The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India, recovered Rs 5,197 crore in FY17. For the quarter ended March 2017 its recovery from bad assets stood at Rs 1,203 crore, which was a little higher than the December 2017 figure of Rs 1,003 crore. The bank had recovered Rs 1,627 crore in the quarter ended March 2016. Bank of Baroda, the third largest state-run lender, recovered Rs 4,088 crore, Bank of India Rs 4,598 crore, Central Bank of India Rs 2,378 crore and Union Bank Rs 1,388 crore in the financial year 2017.
“Post the recent government and RBI action, expectations of progress on stress asset resolutions have gone up,” said Ashish Gupta, analyst, Credit Suisse. “However, given the low 30 per cent provision cover on these loans, progress will necessitate additional provisioning and capital.
Provisions needed on recognised stressed assets are equivalent to 3-9 years of operating profits.” Among the private banks, Axis Bank performed much better than ICICI Bank. While for the full year Axis Bank’s recoveries and upgradation stood at Rs 4,367 crore, ICICI did Rs 2,538 crore.