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Date: 01/07/2010
Master Circular on Management of Advances- UCBs


July 01, 2010

The Chief Executive Officers of
All Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks

Dear Sir / Madam,

Master Circular on Management of Advances- UCBs

Please refer to our Master Circular UBD.BPD (PCB) MC. No.5 /13.05.000 / 2009-10 dated July 1, 2009 on the captioned subject. The enclosed Master Circular consolidates and updates all the instructions / guidelines on the subject issued up to June 30, 2010.

Yours faithfully,

(Uma Shankar)
Chief General Manager

Encl: As above .




Working Capital Requirements


Loan System for delivery of bank credit


Credit Administration


Exchange of credit information


Prudential Guidelines on Restructuring of Advances


Specific Lending Activities


Discounting/Rediscounting of Bills by Banks


Revival of Interest Tax Act 1974


Relief measures to be extended in areas affected by natural calamities

Annex 1  Valuation of properties and empanelment of valuers

Annex 2  Guidelines for Relief Measures

Annex 3   Format for reporting of borrowal accounts classified as doubtful,loss   for suit filed with outstanding of Rs.1crore and above  & Format for reporting of wilful defaulters to be submitted

Annex 4  Prudential Guidelines on Restructuring of Advances

Annex 5  Definition of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Annex 6 Safeguards-Advances against pledge of Gold/Silver ornaments

Appendix  List of circulars consolidated in the Master Circular

Primary (Urban) Cooperative Banks (UCBs) are expected to lay down, with the approval of their boards, transparent policies and guidelines for credit dispensation, in respect of each broad category of economic activity, keeping in view the credit exposure norms and various other guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India from time to time.

2. Working Capital requirements

2.1 The assessment of working capital requirement of borrowers, other than SSI units, requiring fund based working capital limits upto Rs.1.00 crore and SSI units requiring fund based working capital limits upto Rs.5.00 crore from the banking system may be made on the basis of their projected annual turnover.

2.2 In accordance with these guidelines, the working capital requirement is to be assessed at 25% of the projected turnover to be shared between the borrower and the bank, viz. borrower contributing 5% of the turnover as net working capital (NWC) and bank providing finance at a minimum of 20% of the turnover. Projected turnover may be interpreted as ‘Gross Sales’ including excise duty.

2.3 The banks may, at their discretion, carry out the assessment based on projected turnover basis or the traditional method. If the credit requirement based on traditional production / processing cycle is higher than the one assessed on projected turnover basis, the same may be sanctioned, as borrower must be financed up to the extent of minimum 20 per cent of their projected annual turnover. The projected annual turnover would be estimated on the basis of annual statements of accounts or other documents such as returns filed with sales-tax / revenue authorities. Actual drawals may be allowed on the basis of drawing power to be determined by UCBs after excluding unpaid stocks.

2.4 Drawals against the limits should be allowed against the usual safeguards including drawing power and it is to be ensured that the same are used for the purpose intended. Banks will have to ensure regular and timely submission of monthly statements of stocks, receivables, etc., by the borrowers and also periodical verification of such statements vis-à-vis physical stocks by their officials.

2.5 In respect of borrowers other than SSI units, requiring working capital limits above Rs.1 crore and for SSI units requiring fund based working capital limits above Rs.5 crore, UCBs may determine the working capital requirements according to their perception of the credit needs of borrowers. UCBs may adopt turnover method or cash budgeting method or any other method as considered necessary.  However, UCBs may ensure that the book-debt finance does not exceed 75% of the limits sanctioned to borrowers for financing inland credit sales. The remaining 25% of the credit sales may be financed through bills to ensure greater use of bills for financing sales.

3. Loan System for Delivery of Bank Credit

3.1 In the case of borrowers enjoying working capital credit limits of Rs 10 crore and above from the banking system, the loan component should normally be 80% and the remaining Cash Credit component.  UCBs have been given freedom to change the composition of working capital by increasing the cash credit component beyond 20 per cent or increase the loan component beyond 80 per cent, as the case may be, if they so desire. UCBs are expected to appropriately price each of the two components of working capital finance, taking into account the impact of such decisions on their cash and liquidity management.

3.2 In the case of borrowers with working capital (fund based) credit limit of less than Rs. 10 crore, banks may persuade them to go in for the Loan System by offering an incentive in the form of lower rate of interest on the 'loan component' as compared to the 'cash credit component' The actual percentage of 'loan component' in these cases may be settled by the bank with its borrower clients.

3.3 Ad hoc Credit Limit: The release of ad hoc / additional credit for meeting temporary requirements may be considered by the financing bank only after the borrower has fully utilised / exhausted the existing limit.

3.4 Sharing of Working Capital Finance :  In respect of consortium lending, the level of individual bank's share in Cash Credit and Loan Component shall be governed by the norm for single / group borrowers credit exposure.

3.5 Rate of Interest : UCBs are allowed to fix separate lending rates for 'loan component' and 'cash credit component'.

3.6 Period of Loan : The minimum period of the loan for working capital purposes may be fixed by banks in consultation with borrowers. Banks may decide to split the loan component according to the need of the borrower with different maturity bases for each segment and allow roll over.

3.7 Export Credit : In respect of borrowers enjoying export credit limit, the bifurcation of the working capital limit into loan and cash credit components, would be effected after excluding the export credit limits (pre-shipment and post-shipment).

3.8 Bills Limit : Bills limit for inland sales may be fully carved out of the 'loan component'. Bills limit also includes limits for purchase of third party (outstation) cheques / bank drafts. Banks must satisfy themselves that the bills limit is not mis-utilised.

UCBs may lay down policy guidelines for periodical review of the working capital limit and the same may be scrupulously adhered to.

4. Credit Administration

4.1 Rate of interest

UCBs are permitted to determine their lending rates taking into account their cost of funds, transaction costs etc with the approval of their Board. However, banks are advised to ensure that the interest rates charged by them are transparent and known to all customers. Banks are also required to publish the minimum and maximum interest rates charged on advances and display the information in every branch. Though interest rates have been deregulated, rates of interest beyond a certain level may be seen to be usurious and can neither be sustainable nor be conforming to normal banking practice. Boards of banks have to lay down appropriate internal principles and procedures in this regard. In laying down such principles and procedures in respect of small value loans, particularly, personal loans and such other loans of similar nature, banks may take into account, inter-alia, the following broad guidelines :

(i) An appropriate prior-approval process should be prescribed for sanctioning such loans, which should take into account, among others, the cash flows of the prospective borrower.

(ii) Interest rates charged by banks, inter-alia, should incorporate risk premium as considered reasonable and justified having regard to the internal rating of the borrower. Further, in considering the question of risk, the presence or absence of security and the value thereof should be taken into account.

(iii) The total cost to the borrower, including interest and all other charges levied on a loan, should be justifiable having regard to the total cost incurred by the bank in extending the loan, which is sought to be defrayed and the extent of return that could be reasonably expected from the transaction.

(iv) In the case of loans to borrowers under priority sector, no penal interest should be charged for loans up to Rs.25,000. Penal interest may be levied for reasons such as default in repayment, non-submission of financial statements, etc. However, the policy on penal interest should be governed by well-accepted principles of transparency, fairness, incentive to service the debt and due regard to genuine difficulties of customers.

(v) Banks should ensure that the total interest debited to an account should not exceed the principal amount in respect of short term advances granted to small and marginal farmers. The small and marginal farmers for the purpose shall include those with land holding of 5 acres and less.

(vi) An appropriate ceiling may be fixed on the interest, including processing and other charges that could be levied on such loans, which may be suitably publicised.

4.2 No Objection Certificate

UCBs should not finance a borrower already availing credit facility from another bank without obtaining a 'No Objection Certificate' from the existing financing bank.

4.3 Opening of Current Accounts

4.3.1 Keeping in view the importance of credit discipline, at the time of opening of current accounts, banks should :

(i) insist on a declaration from the account holder to the effect that he is not enjoying any credit facility with any other commercial bank or obtain a declaration giving particulars of credit facilities enjoyed by him with any other commercial bank/s.

(ii) ascertain whether he/she is a member of any other co-operative society / bank; if so, the full details thereof such as name of the society / bank, number of shares held, details of credit facilities, such as nature, quantum, outstanding, due dates etc should  be obtained.

4.3.2 Further, in case he / she is already enjoying any credit facility from any other commercial / co-operative bank, the bank opening a current account should duly inform the lending bank(s) concerned and also specifically insist on obtaining a "No Objection Certificate" from them. In case of a prospective customer who is a corporate or large borrower enjoying credit facilities from more than one bank, the banks may inform the consortium leader, if under consortium, and the banks concerned, if under multiple banking arrangement. In case a facility has been availed from a co-operative bank / society, it is essential for the bank to comply with the requirements of the Co-operative Societies Act / Rules of the state concerned in regard to membership and borrowings.

4.3.3 Banks may open current accounts of prospective customers in case no response is received from the existing bankers after a minimum waiting period of a fortnight. If a responses is received within a fortnight, banks should assess the situation with reference to information provided on the prospective customer by the bank concerned and are not required to solicit a formal no objection, consistent with true freedom to the customer of banks as well as needed due diligence on the customer by the bank.

4.4 Certification of Accounts of Non-Corporate Borrowers by Chartered Accountants

As per the Income Tax Act, 1961, filing of audited balance sheet and Profit & Loss Account is mandatory for certain types of non-corporate entities. Therefore, the banks must insist on the audited financial statements from the borrowers enjoying large limits; since such borrowers would, in any case, be submitting audit certificate to the income-tax authorities, based on audit of their books of accounts by a Chartered Accountant.

4.5 Defaults in Payment of Statutory Dues by Borrowers

UCBs may ensure that borrowers enjoying credit facilities, pay the provident fund payments and similar other statutory dues promptly.  The non-payment of statutory dues by the borrowers is one of the symptoms of incipient sickness of an industrial unit. Therefore, it is in the interest of both the lender and borrower to give high priority to the clearance of these dues. Apart from insisting on the borrowers to indicate a definite programme for clearance of arrears, banks may consider suitable restrictions on the outflow of funds. UCBs may incorporate an appropriate declaration in their application forms for grant/renewal/ enhancement of credit facilities so as to ensure that the position regarding the statutory dues is disclosed therein. In respect of the corporate borrowers and non-corporate borrowers, the amount of statutory dues should normally be reflected in their audited annual accounts. In case audited accounts do not indicate the position clearly, a certificate may be obtained from the Chartered Accountant for this purpose.

4.6 Sanction of Advances

4.6.1 Irregularities/ Deficiencies in Credit Sanction

Banks should take suitable precautions to avoid irregular practices such as sanctioning of advances beyond discretionary powers and/or without proper credit appraisal in order to minimise chances of frauds.

4.6.2 Delegation of Powers

(i) The Board of Directors should delegate specific powers to the Branch Managers and other functionaries at the Head Office level as also to the Chairman in the matter of sanction of advances and expenditure. A system should also be introduced to ensure that powers are exercised within the limits prescribed and any transgressions are immediately reported to Head Office.

(ii) The internal inspectors should examine during the course of inspection of branches whether powers have been exercised properly and any unauthorised exercise of powers should immediately be brought to the notice of Head Office. Similarly, sanctions beyond discretionary powers by the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and other executives at the Head Office should also be reported to the Board of Directors.

4.6.3 Oral Sanction

The higher authorities at various levels should desist from the unhealthy practice of conveying sanction of advances orally or on telephone.

4.6.4 Proper Record of Deviations

(i) Only in exigencies, where sanctions are made on telephone / oral instructions of higher functionaries or sanctions beyond discretionary powers have to be resorted to, the following steps should be taken :

a) Record of such instructions / sanctions should be maintained by the sanctioning / disbursing authorities explaining the circumstances under which sanctions were made.

b) Written confirmation of the competent sanctioning authority should be obtained by the disbursing authority / official within a week / fortnight.

c) Sanctions within discretionary powers should also be reported to Head Office within a stipulated time and Head Office should meticulously follow up receipt of such returns.

d) Head Office should diligently scrutinise the statements / returns and should initiate stringent action against erring functionary (ies) if he/they is/are found to have indulged in unauthorised sanctioning.

(ii) Officials should exercise powers delegated to them judiciously and should not exceed their discretionary powers for granting loans and advances. Violations, if any, in this regard should be viewed seriously and the guilty should be punished suitably.

4.7 Monitoring operations in loan accounts

4.7.1 Post-Sanction Monitoring

(i) It is the primary responsibility of banks to be vigilant and ensure proper end use of bank funds / monitor the funds flow. It is, therefore, necessary for banks to evolve such arrangements as may be considered necessary to ensure that drawals from cash credit / overdraft accounts are strictly for the purpose for which the credit limits are sanctioned by them.

(ii) Post sanction follow-up of loans and advances should be effective so as to ensure that the security obtained from borrowers by way of hypothecation, pledge, etc. are not tampered with in any manner and are adequate.

(iii) Accounts showing sign of turning into NPAs : Banks may put in place more stringent safeguards, especially where accounts shows sign of turning into NPAs. In such cases banks may strengthen their monitoring system by resorting to more frequent inspections of borrowers' godowns, ensuring that sale proceeds are routed through the borrower's accounts maintained with the bank and insisting on pledge of the stock in place of hypothecation.

(iv) Drawals against clearing cheques should be sanctioned only in respect of first class customers and even in such cases the extent of limits and the need therefore should be subjected to thorough scrutiny and periodical review. Banks should not issue banker’s cheques/pay orders/demand drafts against instruments presented for clearing, (unless the proceeds thereof are collected and credited to the account of the party) or to borrowers whose accounts are already overdrawn or likely to be overdrawn with the issue of such instruments.

(v) Drawals against clearing instruments should be normally confined to bank drafts and Government cheques and only to a limited extent against third party cheques.

(vi) Cheques against which drawals are allowed, should represent genuine trade transactions and strict vigilance should be observed against assisting kite-flying operations.

4.7.2 Responsibility

(i) The primary responsibility for preventing misuse of funds rests with the management of banks. UCBs should, therefore, take appropriate steps to review and tighten their internal administration and control measures so as to eliminate the scope for misuse/diversion of funds and malpractices.

(ii) Banks should take serious view of instances of misuse of power, corruption and other malpractices indulged by the members of staff and erring staff members should be given punishments befitting the seriousness of the irregularity. Quick disposal of enquiries by the banks and award of deterrent punishment would be necessary in all such cases.

4.8 Annual Review of Advances

For an effective monitoring of the advances, it is imperative for the banks to undertake an exercise for review of the advances on a regular basis. Apart from the usual objective of such a review of assessing the quality of operation, safety of funds, etc. the review should specifically attempt to make an assessment of the working capital requirements of the borrower based on the latest data available, whether limits continue to be within the need-based requirements and according to the bank's prescribed lending norms.

4.9 Valuation of properties-empanelment of valuers :

The issue of correct and realistic valuation of fixed assets owned by banks and that accepted by them as collateral for a sizable portion of their advances portfolio assumes significance in view of its implications for correct measurement of capital adequacy position of banks. UCBs are, therefore, advised to put in place a system / procedure for realistic valuation of fixed assets and also for empanelment of valuers for the purpose as per guidelines given at Annex 1.

4.10 Diversion of Funds

UCBs should have a mechanism for proper monitoring of the end use of funds. Wherever diversion is observed, they should take appropriate action including recalling the loans, reduction of sanctioned limits, charging penal interest etc. to protect the bank's interest. UCBs should keep a proper vigil over requests of their clients for cash withdrawals from their accounts for large amounts. Whenever stocks under hypothecation to cash credit and other loan accounts are found to have been sold but the proceeds thereof not credited to the loan account, such action should normally be treated as a fraud. In such cases, banks may take immediate steps to secure the remaining stock so as to prevent further erosion in the value of the available security as also other action as warranted.

4.11 Diversion of funds would be construed to include any one of the under-noted occurrences :

a) utilisation of short-term working capital funds for long-term purposes not in conformity with the terms of sanctions;

b) deploying borrowed funds for purposes / activities or creation of assets other than those for which the loan was sanctioned;

c) transferring funds to the subsidiaries / group companies or other corporates by whatever modalities;

d) routing of funds through any bank other than the lender bank or members of consortium without prior permission of the lender;

e) investment in other companies by way of acquiring equities / debt instruments without approval of lenders;

f) shortfall in deployment of funds vis-à-vis the amounts disbursed / drawn and the difference not being accounted for.

4.12 Siphoning of funds should be construed to have occurred if any funds borrowed are utilised for purposes unrelated to the operations of the borrower, to the detriment of the financial health of the entity or of the lender. The decision as to whether a particular instance amounts to siphoning of funds would have to be a judgement of the lenders based on objective facts and circumstances of the case.

4.13 End-use of Funds :  In cases of project financing, banks should seek to ensure end use of funds by, inter alia, obtaining certification from the Chartered Accountants for the purpose. In case of short-term corporate / clean loans, such an approach ought to be supplemented by `due diligence' on the part of lenders themselves, and to the extent possible, such loans should be limited to only those borrowers whose integrity and reliability were above board. UCBs, therefore, should not depend entirely on the certificates issued by the Chartered Accountants but strengthen their internal controls and the credit risk management system to enhance the quality of their loan portfolio. Needless to say, ensuring end-use of funds by banks should form a part of their loan policy document for which appropriate measures should be put in place.

4.14 The following are the illustrative measures that could be taken by the lenders for monitoring and ensuring end-use of funds:

(a) Meaningful scrutiny of quarterly progress reports / operating statements / balance sheets of the borrowers ;

(b) Regular inspection of borrowers' assets charged to the lenders as security;

(c) Periodical scrutiny of borrowers' books of accounts and the no-lien accounts  maintained with other banks;

(d) Periodical visits to the assisted units;

(e) System of periodical stock audit, in case of working capital finance;

(f) Periodical comprehensive management audit of the ‘Credit’ function of the lenders, so as to identify the systemic weaknesses in the credit-administration.

5. Exchange of credit information

5.1 The Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005 (the Act) has been operationalised with effect from December 14, 2006.  In terms of Section 15(1) of the Act, every credit institution has to become member of at least one credit information company. As the UCBs fall under the category of credit institutions as defined in sub-section (f) of Section 2 of the Act, they would be required to take membership of at least one credit information company and provide credit data (positive as well as negative) to the credit information company in the format prescribed by the credit information company. UCBs should build up database for effective exchange of credit information.

5.2 Exchange of information - Lending under Consortium Arrangement/ Multiple Banking Arrangements

UCBs need to strengthen their information back-up about the borrowers enjoying credit facilities from multiple banks.

(i) At the time of granting fresh facilities, banks may obtain declaration from the borrowers about the credit facilities already enjoyed by them from other banks. In the case of existing lenders, all the banks may seek a declaration from their existing borrowers availing sanctioned limits of Rs.5.00 crore and above or wherever, it is in their knowledge that their borrowers are availing credit facilities from other banks, and introduce a system of exchange of information with other banks as indicated above.

(ii) Subsequently, banks should exchange information about the conduct of the borrowers' accounts with other banks at least at quarterly intervals.

(iii) Obtain regular certification by a professional, preferably a Company Secretary / Cost Accountant / Chartered Accountant regarding compliance of various statutory prescriptions that are in vogue.

(iv) Make greater use of credit reports available from Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL).

(v) The banks should incorporate suitable clauses in the loan agreements in future (at the time of next renewal in the case of existing facilities) regarding exchange of credit information so as to address confidentiality issues.

5.3 Disclosure of Information and Monitoring of Defaulting Borrowers

5.3.1 Scheduled UCBs are required to submit to the Reserve Bank of India as at the end of September and March every year, the details of the borrowal accounts which have been classified as doubtful, loss or suit filed with outstanding (both under funded and non-funded limits) aggregating Rs. 1 crore and above as per the format given in Annex 3.

5.3.2 The Reserve Bank of India is circulating to the banks and financial institutions the information on the defaulters (i.e., advances classified as doubtful and loss). The banks and financial institutions may make use of the information while considering the merits of the requests for new or additional credit limits by existing and new constituents.

5.3.3 The data on borrowal accounts against which suits have been filed for recovery of advances (outstanding aggregating Rs.1.00 crore and above) and suit filed accounts of wilful defaulters with outstanding balance of Rs 25 lakh and above, based on information furnished by scheduled commercial banks and financial institutions is available at .

5.3.4 UCBs can verify the lists to ensure that the defaulting borrowing units as also their proprietors/partners/ directors etc. named in the list of suit-filed accounts, either in their own names or in the names of other units with which they are associated, are not extended further credit facilities.

5.3.5 The banks may make enquiry, if any, about the defaulters from the reporting bank/ financial institution.

5.4 Collection and dissemination of information on cases of wilful default of Rs. 25.00 lakh and above

5.4.1 Scheduled UCBs are required to report on a quarterly basis, all cases of wilful defaults, which occurred, or are detected after March 31, 1999 in the proforma given in Annex 3. All non-performing borrowal accounts with outstanding (funded facilities and such non-funded facilities which are converted into funded facilities) aggregating to Rs. 25.00 lakh and above are to be reported.

5.4.2 A wilful default would be deemed to have occurred if any of the following events is noted :

(a) The unit has defaulted in meeting its payment / repayment obligations to the lender even when it has the capacity to honour the said obligation.

(b) The unit has defaulted in meeting its payment / repayment obligation to the lender and has not utilized the finance from the lender for the specific purposes for which finance was availed of but has diverted the funds for other purposes.

(c) The unit has defaulted in meeting its payment / repayment obligations to the lender and has siphoned off the fund so that the funds have not been utilized for the specific purpose for which finance was availed of, nor are the funds available with the unit in the form of other assets.

(d) The unit has defaulted in meeting its payment / repayment obligation to the lender and has also disposed of or removed the movable fixed assets or immovable property given by it for the purpose of securing a term loan, without the knowledge of the bank / lender.

5.4.3 Cut-off limits : While the penal measures would normally be attracted by all the borrowers identified as wilful defaulters or the promoters involved in diversion / siphoning of funds, keeping in view the present limit of Rs.25 lakh fixed by the Central Vigilance Commission for reporting of cases of wilful default by scheduled banks to Reserve Bank of India, any wilful defaulter with an outstanding balance of Rs.25 lakh or more would attract the penal measures stipulated at paragraph 6.6 below. The limit of Rs.25 lakh may also be applied for the purpose of taking cognisance of the instances of `siphoning '/ `diversion' of funds.

5.4.4 Penal measures

In order to prevent access to the capital markets by the wilful defaulters, a copy of the list of wilful defaulters is forwarded by Reserve Bank of India to Securities and Exchange Board of India as well. It has also been decided that the following measures should be initiated by scheduled UCBs against the wilful defaulters :

(a) No additional facilities be granted to the listed wilful defaulters. In addition, the entrepreneurs / promoters of companies where banks have identified siphoning / diversion of funds, misrepresentation, falsification of accounts and fraudulent transactions should be debarred from institutional finance for floating new ventures for a period of 5 years from the date the name of the wilful defaulter is published in the list of wilful defaulters by the Reserve Bank of India.

(b) The legal process, where warranted, against the borrowers/guarantors and foreclosure of loans should be initiated expeditiously. The lenders may also initiate criminal proceedings against wilful defaulters, wherever necessary.

(c) Wherever possible, the banks should adopt a proactive approach for a change of Management of the wilfully defaulting borrower unit. It would be imperative on the part of the banks to put in place a transparent mechanism for the entire process so that the penal provisions are not misused and the scope of such discretionary powers is kept to the barest minimum. It should be ensured that a solitary or isolated instance is not made the basis for imposing penal measures.

5.4.5 Treatment of Group :  While dealing with wilful default of a single borrowing company in a group, the banks should consider the track record of the individual company, with reference to its repayment performance to its lenders. However, in cases where a letter of comfort and/or the guarantees furnished by the companies within the group on behalf of the wilfully defaulting units are not honoured when invoked by scheduled banks, such group companies should also be reckoned as wilful defaulters.

5.4.6 Role of Auditors : In case any falsification of accounts on the part of the borrowers is observed by banks, they should lodge a formal complaint against the auditors of the borrowers, with Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI) if it is observed that the auditors were negligent or deficient in conducting the audit to enable the ICAI to examine and fix accountability of the auditors.

With a view to monitoring the end-use of funds, if the lenders desire a specific certification from borrowers' auditors regarding diversion / siphoning of funds by the borrower, the lender should award a separate mandate to the auditors for the purpose. To facilitate such certification by the auditors scheduled UCBs will also need to ensure that appropriate covenants in the loan agreements are incorporated to enable award of such a mandate by the lenders to the borrowers / auditors.

5.4.7 Filing of Suits to Recover Dues from Wilful Defaulters : Scheduled UCBs should examine all cases of wilful defaults of Rs. 1.00 crore and above and file suits in such cases UCBs should also examine whether in such cases of wilful defaults, there are instances of cheating/fraud by the defaulting borrowers and if so, they should also file criminal cases against those borrowers. In other cases involving amounts below Rs. 1.00 crore, banks should take appropriate action, including legal action, against the defaulting borrowers.


Prudential guidelines on restructuring of advances by UCBs are given as Annex 4.  The definitions on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises engaged in manufacturing or production and in providing or rendering of services are furnished in Annex 5.


7.1 Bridge Loans/Interim Finance

7.1.1 The grant of bridge loan / interim finance by UCBs to any company (including finance companies) is totally prohibited.

7.1.2 The ban on sanction of bridge loans/interim finance is also applicable in respect of Euro issues.

7.1.3 The banks should not circumvent these instructions by purport and/or intent by sanction of credit under a different nomenclature like unsecured negotiable notes, floating rate interest bonds, etc. as also short-term loans, the repayment of which is proposed/expected to be made out of funds to be or likely to be mobilised from external/other sources and not out of the surplus generated by the use of the asset(s).

7.1.4 If any bank has sanctioned and disbursed any bridge loan/interim finance, it should report the same to the Regional Office concerned of the Urban Banks Department with full particulars and certifying that the loans are utilised strictly for the purpose for which the public issue and/or market borrowing was intended. Thereafter, the banks concerned should immediately take steps to ensure timely repayment of such bridge loans/interim finance already sanctioned and disbursed and under no circumstances, should the banks allow extension of time for repayment of existing bridge loans/interim finance.

7.1.5 These instructions are issued by the Reserve Bank of India in exercise of powers conferred by the Sections 21 and 35A read with section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

7.2 Advances to Real Estate and Commercial Real Estate Sector

UCBs should frame comprehensive prudential norms relating to the ceiling on the total amount of real estate loans, single/aggregate exposure limit for such loans, margins, security, repayment schedule and availability of supplementary finance taking into account guidelines issued by Reserve Bank of India and the policy should be approved by the banks’ Board.Exposure to builders and contractors for commercial real estate will include fund based and non-fund based exposures secured by mortgages on commercial real estates (office buildings, retail space, multi-purpose commercial premises, multi-family residential buildings, multi-tenanted commercial premises, industrial or warehouse space, hotels etc). Further, while framing the policy, the banks may also consider for inclusion the National Building Code framed by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). For detailed information the website of Bureau of Indian Standards ( can be accessed.

7.3 Financing of Leasing/Hire Purchase Companies

7.3.1 Enrolment of Financial Companies as Members

(i) UCBs are normally not expected to enrol non-banking financial institutions like investment and financial companies as their members since it would be in contravention of the State Co-operative Societies Act concerned and will also not be in conformity with the provisions of model by-law No.9 recommended for adoption, by all banks.

(ii) Therefore, the UCBs are not permitted to finance Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), other than those engaged in hire purchase / leasing.  Such NBFCs stand reclassified as Asset Finance Companies vide DNBS circular dated September 15, 2008.

7.3.2 Norms for financing Asset Finance Companies

(i) As in the case of finance and investment companies, admission of NBFCs which are not engaged exclusively in leasing/hire purchase business as members may be contrary to the provisions contained in the State Co-operative Societies Act concerned and model bye-law No.9 referred to above. It will, therefore, be necessary for banks to obtain prior approval of the Registrar of Co-operative Societies concerned before admitting them as members.

(ii) Even financing the asset finance companies by UCBs on a large scale is not favoured by the Reserve Bank of India, since the banks are basically required to cater to the credit needs of the people of small means.

(iii) Presently banks with working capital funds aggregating to Rs. 25 crore and above only are permitted to take up the financing of asset finance companies and that too, only in consortium with other scheduled commercial banks. The banks should observe the following norms, while financing such companies :

(a) The level of finance to asset finance companies depends on the net owned funds of the companies, subject to the overall ceiling on their borrowings upto ten times of their owned funds.

(b) Bank credit to companies exclusively engaged in equipment leasing and hire purchases and such leasing/hire purchase companies which are predominantly engaged in equipment leasing/hire purchase business (i.e., at least 75 per cent of assets are in equipment leasing/hire purchase and 75 per cent of their gross income is derived from these two types of activities as per their last audited balance sheet) may be extended within the ceiling of three times of the net owned funds within the overall ceiling of their borrowings upto ten times of net owned funds.

(c) In the case of other equipment leasing/hire purchases companies (i.e. companies whose assets in equipment leasing/hire purchase business are less than 75 per cent and whose gross income derived from these two types of activities as per the last audited balance sheet is less than 75 per cent of its gross income), the credit limit has to be within two times of their net owned funds from the present level of four times.

7.4 Working Capital Finance to Information Technology and Software Industry

7.4.1 Banks are permitted to decide on their own the loan policy and the manner of estimating the working capital finance based on Maximum Permissible Banking Finance (MPBF) method or any other method to be approved by their Board of Directors. The stance of Reserve Bank of India’s policy towards operational freedom to banks remains unchanged. At the same time, Reserve Bank of India recognises the fact that the banks are not comfortable with extending aggressive credit support to a relatively new area of software industry unlike other traditional industries, due to several factors which make the assessment of credit needs and follow up thereof difficult, if not insurmountable.

7.4.2 In order to bring about uniformity in approach, Reserve Bank of India has formulated guidelines for information of banks, on various aspects of lending to information technology and software industry to facilitate free flow of credit. The same were enclosed to our circular DS.SUB.No.4/13.05.00/98-99 dated 5 October 1998, addressed to scheduled UCBs. Banks are, however, free to modify the guidelines based on their own experience without reference to Reserve Bank of India to achieve the purpose of the guidelines in letter and spirit.

7.4.3 These guidelines have been framed based on the recommendations made by the study group appointed by Reserve Bank of India to study the modalities of credit extension to software industry as also taking into account the suggestions made by the industry associations.

7.4.4 This being a relatively new area of credit deployment, UCBs may take adequate steps to develop expertise in this area. Besides other measures which banks might take, the need for training staff for developing them in acquiring skills of project appraisal in this new area of activity need not be over-emphasised. It has to be ensured that the staff concerned is well aware of the requirements of the industry and remain in tune with the latest developments so that the higher standards of project appraisal can be maintained before extending the working capital finance to Information Technology and software industries.

7.5 Advances against pledge of Gold / Silver ornaments

7.5.1 In order to mitigate the inherent risks attached to sanction of loans and advances against gold / silver ornaments, UCBs are advised to observe the safeguards as detailed in Annex 6.

7.5.2 Bullet Repayment : UCBs, with the approval of their Board, may permit bullet repayment of loans against gold ornaments up to Rs 1.00 lakh as an additional option subject to the following guidelines :

(i) The amount of loan sanctioned should not exceed Rs 1.00 lakh at any point of time.

(ii) The period of the loan shall not exceed 12 months from the date of sanction.

(iii) Interest will be charged to the account at monthly rests but will become due for payment along with principal only at the end of 12 months from the date of sanction.

(iv) The bank should prescribe a minimum margin to be maintained in case of such loans and accordingly, fix the loan limit taking into account the market value of the security (gold / gold ornaments), expected price fluctuations, interest that will accrue during the tenure of the loan etc.

(v) Such loans shall be governed by the extant income recognition, asset classification and provisioning norms which shall be applicable once the principal and interest become overdue.

(vi) The account would also be classified as NPA (sub standard category) even before the due date of repayment, if the prescribed margin is not maintained.

7.5.3 Crop loans sanctioned against the collateral security of gold ornaments shall continue to be governed by the extant income recognition, asset classification and provisioning norms for such loans.

7.5.4 Hallmarking of gold jewellery ensures the quality of gold used in the jewellery as to caratage, fineness and purity. Banks would find granting of advances against the security of such hallmarked jewellery safer and easier. Preferential treatment of hallmarked jewellery is likely to encourage practice of hallmarking which will be in the long-term interest of consumers, lenders and the industry. Therefore, banks while considering granting advances against jewellery may keep in view the advantages of hallmarked jewellery and decide on the margin and rates of interest thereon.

7.6 Grant of loans for acquisition of of/investing in small savings instruments including Kisan Vikas Patras (KVP) :

Grant of loans for acquiring / investing in KVPs does not promote fresh savings and, rather, channelise the existing savings in the form of bank deposits to small savings instruments and thereby defeat the very purpose of such schemes. Banks may therefore ensure that no loans are sanctioned for acquisition of/investing in small savings instruments including KVPs.


Banks may adhere to the following guidelines while purchasing / discounting / negotiating / rediscounting of genuine commercial / trade bills :

1. Since banks have already been given freedom to decide their own guidelines for assessing / sanctioning working capital limits of borrowers, they may sanction working capital limit as also bills limit to borrowers after proper appraisal of their credit needs and in accordance with the loan policy as approved by their Board of Directors.

2. Banks should clearly lay down a bills discounting policy approved by their Board of Directors, which should be consistent with their policy of sanctioning of working capital limits. In this case, the procedure for Board approval should include banks’ core operating process from the time the bills are tendered till these are realised. Banks may review their core operating processes and simplify the procedure in respect of bills financing. In order to address the oft-cited problem of delay in realisation of bills, banks may take advantage of improved computer / communication network like Structured Financial Messaging System (SFMS), wherever available, and adopt the system of ‘value dating’ of their clients’ accounts.

3. Banks should open letters of credit (LCs) and purchase / discount / negotiate bills under LCs only in respect of genuine commercial and trade transactions of their borrower constituents who have been sanctioned regular credit facilities by the banks. Banks should not, therefore, extend fund based (including bills financing) or non-fund based facilities like opening of LCs, providing guarantees and acceptances to non-constituent borrower or / and non-constituent member of a consortium / multiple banking arrangement.

4. For the purpose of credit exposure, bills purchased / discounted / negotiated under LC (where the payment to the beneficiary is not made ‘under reserve’) will be treated as an exposure on the LC issuing bank and not on the borrower. All clean negotiations as indicated above will be assigned the risk weight as is normally applicable to inter-bank exposures, for capital adequacy purposes. In the case of negotiations ‘under reserve’ the exposure should be treated as on the borrower and risk weight assigned accordingly.

5. While purchasing / discounting / negotiating bills under LCs or otherwise, banks should establish genuineness of underlying transactions / documents.

6. Banks should ensure that blank LC forms are kept in safe custody as in case of security items like blank cheques, demand drafts etc. and verified / balanced on daily basis. LC forms should be issued to customers under joint signatures of the bank’s authorised officials.

7. The practice of drawing bills of exchange claused ‘without recourse’ and issuing letters of credit bearing the legend ‘without recourse’ should be discouraged because such notations deprive the negotiating bank of the right of recourse it has against the drawer under the Negotiable Instruments Act. Banks should not, therefore, open LCs and purchase / discount / negotiate bills bearing the ‘without recourse’ clause.

8. Accommodation bills should not be purchased / discounted / negotiated by banks. The underlying trade transactions should be clearly identified and a proper record thereof maintained at the branches conducting the bills business.

9. Banks should be circumspect while discounting bills drawn by front finance companies set up by large industrial groups on other group companies.

10. Bills rediscounts should be restricted to usance bills held by other banks. Banks should not rediscount bills earlier discounted by NBFCs except in respect of bills arising from sale of light commercial vehicles and two / three wheelers.

11. Banks may exercise their commercial judgment in discounting of bills of services sector. However, while discounting such bills, banks should ensure that actual services are rendered and accommodation bills are not discounted. Services sector bills should not be eligible for rediscounting. Further, providing finance against discounting of services sector bills may be treated as unsecured advance and therefore, should be within the limits prescribed by Urban Banks Department for sanction of unsecured advances.

12. In order to promote payment discipline which would to a certain extent encourage acceptance of bills, all corporate and other constituent borrowers having turnover above threshold level as fixed by the bank’s Board of Directors should be mandated to disclose ‘aging schedule’ of their overdue payables in their periodical returns submitted to banks.

13. Banks should not enter into Repo transactions using bills discounted / rediscounted as collateral.

Any violation of these instructions will be viewed seriously and invite penal action from Reserve Bank of India.

9. Revival of Interest Tax Act 1974 – Collection from borrowers

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its Judgment dated April 16, 2004 has ordered that excess interest collected by the banks from the borrowers through rounding off the applicable interest rate should be recovered from the banks and credited to a Trust to be created for the benefit of disadvantaged people. The Hon’ble Court had also directed that each concerned bank shall contribute to the extent of Rs 50 lakh to the said Fund. Accordingly, UCBs are advised that excess amount realised, if any, from their borrowers towards interest tax by way of rounding off, may be deposited with the above referred Trust Fund. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has opened SB A/c No. 65012067356 with the State Bank of Patiala, Shastri Bhavan Branch, New Delhi in the name of the Trust. UCBs, which have realised excess amount from the borrowers, towards interest tax by way of rounding off to the next higher 0.25% are liable to deposit the said amount to the Trust Fund. As regards contribution of Rs 50 lakh to the Trust Fund, it is for the UCBs concerned which have collected excess amount, to decide depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case.

10. Guidelines on Relief Measures to be Extended by Banks in Areas Affected by Natural Calamities--

10.1 UCBs are expected to provide relief and rehabilitation assistance, in their area of operation to people affected by natural calamities such as droughts, floods, cyclones, etc. The guidelines are given in Annex 2.

10.2 In order to avoid delay in taking relief measures on the occurrence of natural calamity, banks should evolve a suitable policy framework with the approval of the Board of Directors. An element of flexibility may be provided in the measures so as to synchronise the same with the measures which could be appropriate in a given situation.

10.3 Banks should get the documentation settled as per revised guidelines in consultation with their legal departments, taking into account the relevant provisions of the Contract Act and the Limitations Act and may issue appropriate instructions to their offices in respect of documentation in relation to cases covered by these guidelines.


Master Circular
Management of Advances

A.  List of Circulars consolidated in the Master Circular


Circular No.




UBD.(PCB)BPD.Cir.No. 69 / 09.22.010 / 2009-10


Exposure to Real Estate & CRE


UBD.(PCB)BPD.Cir.No. 25 & 60 / 09.11.200 / 2009-10


Credit Information Companies Act 2005


UBD.(PCB)BPD.Cir.No. 16 / 09.22.010 / 2009-10


Disclosure of mortgage by builders


UBD.PCB.BPD.Cir.No. 53 & 60 /13.05.000/2008-09


Prudential Guidelines on Restructuring of Advances by UCBs


UBD.PCB.No. 36 & 59 /13.05.000/2008-09


Lending under Consortium Arrangement / Multiple Banking Arrangements


UBD.PCB.Cir.No. 24 / 13.05.001 / 08-09


Advances against pledge of Gold / Silver Ornaments


UBD.BPD(PCB)Cir No. 18 / 13.04.00 /2008-09


Revival of the Interest Tax Act 1974 - Collection from Borrowers


UBD.PCB.Cir.No. 12 & 13 / 12.05.001 / 2008-09


ALM Guidelines




Wilful Defaulters and action thereagainst




Advances to builders/contractors.


UBD.PCB.Cir.No.22/13.05.000/ 07-08


Gold Loan Repayment




Monitoring of Advances-Safeguards to be observed




Complaints about Excessive Interest Charged by Banks


UBD. PCB.Cir.No  35 /09.09.001/2006-07


Credit flow to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Sector




Grant of loans for acquisition of Kisan Vikas Patras (KVPs)


UBD. PCB. Cir.No.26/13.05.000/2006-07


Valuation of Properties-Empanelment of Valuers


UBD.PCB.Cir.No.10 /13.05.000/2006-07


Guidelines on Relief Measures to be Extended by Banks




Guidelines on Relief Measures to be Extended by Banks




Adherence to National Building Code(NBC)-specifications necessary for lending institutions


UBD.PCB.Cir.No. 46/13.05.000/2005-06


Bills discounted under LC-Risk weight and exposure norms.




Debt restructuring mechanism for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) - Announcement made by the Union Finance Minister




Advances against Gold Ornaments and Jewellery


UBD.PCB.Cir.No. 8/09.116.00/2005-06


Prudential norms on capital adequacy-risk weight on housing finance/commercial real estate exposures




Opening of Current Accounts by banks-need for discipline.




Opening of Current Accounts by banks-need for discipline.




Discounting/Rediscounting of Bills By Banks




Loan System for Delivery of Bank Credit




Issue of banker’s cheques/pay orders/demand drafts




Relief measures for the persons/business affected by the earthquake in Gujarat




Reliefs/Concessions for Exporters Affected by the Earthquake




Branch Advisory Committees


UBD No.BR.11/16.74.00/98-99


Collection and Dissemination of Information on Cases of Wilful Default of Rs. 25.00 lakh and above




Guidelines for Sanction of Working Capital Finance to Information Technology (IT) and Software Industry




Reliefs/Concessions for Exporters Affected by Cyclone in Gujarat


UBD No.BR.3/16.74.00/98-99


Disclosure of information regarding defaulting borrowers of banks at-id financial institutions




Reporting of Credit Sanctions




Guidelines for lending by banks-Assessment of working capital




'Bill' finance for settlement of dues of SSI suppliers




Loan system for delivery of bank credit




Guidelines for lending by banks-Assessment of working capital-Concept of maximum permissible bank Finance - Review of policy




Loan system for delivery of bank credit




Loan system for Delivery of Bank Credit




Management of advances portfolio and control over advances




Loan System for Delivery of Bank credit




Lending to non-banking financial companies




Disclosure of information regarding defaulting borrowers of banks and financial institutions




Equipment leasing and hire purchase financing activities




Realistic assessment of credit requirement Measures to prevent diversion of funds




Loan System for Delivery of Bank Credit




Introduction of a loan system for delivery of bank credits.


UBD No.DS.CIR.PCB.62/13.05.00/94-95


Assessment of Working Capital limits of less than Rs. 1 crore-Clarifications




Norms for bank lending for working capital purposes-Revised guidelines




Lending to Non-Banking Financial Companies




Bridge Loans/Interim Finance


UBD.No.DS.PCB.CIR.41/13.05.00/ 94-95


Compliance with lending discipline-(a) Charging of uniform rates of interest for lending under consortium arrangement  (b) penal interest for non-compliance with the discipline




Guidelines on lending under consortium arrangements




Levy of commitment charge on unutilised portion of credit limit




Leading to non-Banking financial companies




Inventory/Receivables norms for various industries




Report of the in-House Group setup to review the role of Reserve Bank of India in laying down norms for bank lending for working capital purposes - Revised guidelines.




Guidelines on lending under consortium arrangements




Restrictions on credit to certain sectors – Real Estate Loans




Incidence of guarantee premium payable to Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation




Monitoring of flow of funds




Guidelines for relief measures by urban banks in areas affected by recent riots


UBD.No.I&L.40J.1.-92 /93


Diversion of working capital funds




Bridge Loans/Interim Finance




Restriction on Credit to Certain Sectors


UBD.(SUC)36 /DC.R.1(A)-90/91


Restrictions of Drawals Under Large Cash Credit Limits




Financing of Leasing/Hire Purchase Companies




Advances to Builders/Contractors




Guidelines for Assessment of Working Capital Requirements, Opening of Letters of Credit and Issue of Guarantees




Defaults In Payment of Statutory Dues by Borrowers




Withholding of Credit Facilities to Borrowers to Ensure Financial Discipline




Certification of Accounts of Non-Corporate Borrowers by Chartered Accountants


UBD.NO.I&L.38 /J.1-85/86


Advances Granted by Urban Co-operative Banks - Diversion of Funds




Guidelines for relief measures by urban banks in areas affected by natural calamities




Banks assistance to persons affected by recent disturbances




Measures to restrict further credit expansion

B.  List of Other Circulars from which instructions relating to Management of Advances have also been consolidated in the Master Circular


Circular No.






Committee to enquire into various aspects relating to frauds and malpractices in banks (Ghosh Committee)




Committee to enquire into various aspects relating to frauds and malpractices in banks primary (urban) co-operative banks




Frauds, Mis-Appropriation, Embezzlements And Defalcation Of Funds In Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks
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