Meaning of Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC)

Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) under Companies Act


This post explains about Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC).

Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC)

A Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares/stocks/bonds/debentures/securities issued by Government or local authority or other marketable securities of a like nature, leasing, hire-purchase, insurance business, chit business but does not include any institution whose principal business is that of agriculture activity, industrial activity, purchase or sale of any goods (other than securities) or providing any services and sale/purchase/construction of immovable property. A non-banking institution which is a company and has principal business of receiving deposits under any scheme or arrangement in one lump sum or in installments by way of contributions or in any other manner, is also a non-banking financial company (Residuary non-banking company).

Financial activity as principal business is when a company’s financial assets constitute more than 50 per cent of the total assets and income from financial assets constitute more than 50 per cent of the gross income. A company which fulfils both these criteria will be registered as NBFC by RBI. The term 'principal business' is not defined by the Reserve Bank of India Act. The Reserve Bank has defined it so as to ensure that only companies predominantly engaged in financial activity get registered with it and are regulated and supervised by it. Hence if there are companies engaged in agricultural operations, industrial activity, purchase and sale of goods, providing services or purchase, sale or construction of immovable property as their principal business and are doing some financial business in a small way, they will not be regulated by the Reserve Bank. Interestingly, this test is popularly known as 50-50 test and is applied to determine whether or not a company is into financial business.

Difference between banks & NBFCs

NBFCs lend and make investments and hence their activities are akin to that of banks; however there are a few differences as given below:

i. NBFC cannot accept demand deposits;

ii. NBFCs do not form part of the payment and settlement system and cannot issue cheques drawn on itself;

iii. Deposit insurance facility of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available to depositors of NBFCs, unlike in case of banks.

Different types/categories of NBFCs

NBFCs are categorized

a) In terms of the type of liabilities into Deposit and Non-Deposit accepting NBFCs,

b) Non deposit taking NBFCs by their size into systemically important and other non-deposit holding companies (NBFC-NDSI and NBFC-ND) and

c) By the kind of activity they conduct. Within this broad categorization the different types of NBFCs are as follows:

I. Asset Finance Company (AFC) : An AFC is a company which is a financial institution carrying on as its principal business the financing of physical assets supporting productive/economic activity, such as automobiles, tractors, lathe machines, generator sets, earth moving and material handling equipment’s, moving on own power and general purpose industrial machines. Principal business for this purpose is defined as aggregate of financing real/physical assets supporting economic activity and income arising therefrom is not less than 60% of its total assets and total income respectively.

II. Investment Company (IC): IC means any company which is a financial institution carrying on as its principal business the acquisition of securities,

III. Loan Company (LC): LC means any company which is a financial institution carrying on as its principal business the providing of finance whether by making loans or advances or otherwise for any activity other than its own but does not include an Asset Finance Company.

IV. Infrastructure Finance Company (IFC): IFC is a non-banking finance company

a) Which deploys at least 75 per cent of its total assets in infrastructure loans,

b) Has a minimum Net Owned Funds of ? 300 crore,

c) Has a minimum credit rating of ‘A ‘or equivalent d) and a CRAR of 15%.

V. Systemically Important Core Investment Company (CIC-ND-SI): CIC-ND-SI is an NBFC carrying on the business of acquisition of shares and securities which satisfies the following conditions:-

(a) it holds not less than 90% of its Total Assets in the form of investment in equity shares, preference shares, debt or loans in group companies;

(b) its investments in the equity shares (including instruments compulsorily convertible into equity shares within a period not exceeding 10 years from the date of issue) in group companies constitutes not less than 60% of its Total Assets;

(c) It does not trade in its investments in shares, debt or loans in group companies except through block sale for the purpose of dilution or disinvestment;

(d) it does not carry on any other financial activity referred to in Section 45I(c) and 45I(f) of the RBI act, 1934 except investment in bank deposits, money market instruments, government securities, loans to and investments in debt issuances of group companies or guarantees issued on behalf of group companies.

(e) Its asset size is ? 100 crore or above and

(f) It accepts public funds

VI. Infrastructure Debt Fund: Non- Banking Financial Company (IDF-NBFC): IDF-NBFC is a company registered as NBFC to facilitate the flow of long term debt into infrastructure projects. IDF-NBFC raise resources through issue of Rupee or Dollar denominated bonds of minimum 5 year maturity. Only Infrastructure Finance Companies (IFC) can sponsor IDF-NBFCs.

VII. Non-Banking Financial Company - Micro Finance Institution (NBFC-MFI): NBFC-MFI is a non-deposit taking NBFC having not less than 85% of its assets in the nature of qualifying assets which satisfy the following criteria:

A. loan disbursed by an NBFC-MFI to a borrower with a rural household annual income not exceeding ? 1,00,000 or urban and semi-urban household income not exceeding ? 1,60,000;

B. loan amount does not exceed ? 50,000 in the first cycle and ? 1, 00,000 in subsequent cycles;

C. total indebtedness of the borrower does not exceed ? 1, 00,000;

D. tenure of the loan not to be less than 24 months for loan amount in excess of ? 15,000 with prepayment without penalty;

E. loan to be extended without collateral;

F. aggregate amount of loans, given for income generation, is not less than 50 per cent of the total loans given by the MFIs;

G. loan is repayable on weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalments at the choice of the borrower

VIII. Non-Banking Financial Company – Factors (NBFC-Factors): NBFC-Factor is a non-deposit taking NBFC engaged in the principal business of factoring. The financial assets in the factoring business should constitute at least 50 percent of its total assets and its income derived from factoring business should not be less than 50 percent of its gross income.

IX. Mortgage Guarantee Companies (MGC) - MGC are financial institutions for which at least 90% of the business turnover is mortgage guarantee business or at least 90% of the gross income is from mortgage guarantee business and net owned fund is ? 100 crore.

X. NBFC- Non-Operative Financial Holding Company (NOFHC) is financial institution through which promoter / promoter groups will be permitted to set up a new bank. It’s a wholly-owned Non-Operative Financial Holding Company (NOFHC) which will hold the bank as well as all other financial services companies regulated by RBI or other financial sector regulators, to the extent permissible under the applicable regulatory prescriptions.

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