Banks lend to large projects in a consortium, which is generally led by the one with the maximum exposure to the account. There have been cases of number of lenders in a single consortium going up to 18.

"It is said that banks with very meagre share neither have incentives nor inclination to independently assess proposals and they typically blindly go by the decisions by banks who have a bigger share," Gandhi said. "The suggestion is to have a regulatory limit on the number of members in a consortium or multiple banking arrangements," he added at an industry event.

He was quick to point out that there are multiple sides to such a demand which need to be assessed. "There is the other side of the story also because there has to be freedom for borrowers and banks to decide commercially whether they want to be in a consortium or not. Or why should there be a regulatory constraint, that's a counterside of the suggestion," he cited.

RBI will discuss this suggestion with 'all the stakeholders', including bankers and borrowers, Gandhi added. He did not give a time-line for a decision on the issue. State Bank of India's deputy managing director in-charge of stressed assets management, M G Vaidyan said such a move would be beneficial for the bankers.

"If there are 15 people, 20 people in the consortium, there is obviously a problem," he said. With stressed assets in the system, non performing assets (NPAs) and the restructured assets, reaching the double digit mark, Gandhi asserted there is an urgent need to reduce them and clean up the balance sheets. He said there is also a suggestion to form a cell for stressed assets resolution, on the lines of the corporate debt restructuring cell.

Latest News  from Business News Desk