The banking and finance sector saw several positive measures being taken, with a focus on stressed assets management, fraud prevention and detection and significant amendments to the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code. This update summarises some of the key developments in the past year and gives a brief overview of what can be expected in 2019.
THE YEAR THAT WAS
India has continued its climb in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings, recording a leap from the 100th to the 77th position among 190 countries assessed by the World Bank. The World Bank has recognised India as one of the top improvers for the second year in a row, being the first BRICS and South Asian country to be recognized as top improver consecutively.
The year also witnessed the largest alleged fraud in Indian banking history, on the state-run Punjab National Bank, with significant systemic consequences. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stepped up by suggesting various checks and balances for banks to strengthen their fraud prevention and detection framework by listing out supervisory and risk management steps.
For the banking and finance sector, the year saw a significant overhaul in the process of stressed assets management. The RBI introduced a new framework for resolution of stressed assets – aimed at bringing about a change in the approach of banks to monitoring of exposures and resolution of non-performing assets. Significant court decisions and amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) during the year have also kept promoters, borrowers and lenders on their toes.