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RBI Imposes Penalties on IDFC First Bank and LIC Housing Finance

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed monetary penalties on two financial institutions – IDFC First Bank and LIC Housing Finance – for non-compliance with various regulations.

Penalty on IDFC First Bank

The RBI has imposed a penalty of ₹1 crore on IDFC First Bank for non-compliance with certain directions on ‘Loans and Advances – Statutory and Other Restrictions’. The Statutory Inspection for Supervisory Evaluation for the financial year 2022 revealed that the bank had sanctioned term loans to a public sector undertaking for financing infrastructure projects without proper due diligence on the viability and bankability of the projects. It was also found that the repayment and servicing of these term loans were being made out of budgetary resources, instead of the expected revenue streams from the projects.

Penalty on LIC Housing Finance

The central bank has also imposed a penalty of ₹49.7 lakh on LIC Housing Finance for breach of norms. The housing finance company was found to have not complied with certain provisions of the Fair Practices Code. Specifically, it did not disclose the rate of interest and the approach for gradation of risk and rationale for charging different rates of interest to different categories of borrowers in loan application forms and sanction letters. Additionally, LIC Housing Finance had charged pre-payment penalty on housing loans with floating and fixed interest rates, even when the loans were pre-closed from the borrowers’ own sources.

Importance of Compliance

These penalties highlight the importance of strict adherence to regulatory guidelines by financial institutions. The RBI’s actions reinforce its commitment to ensuring a robust and transparent financial system, where institutions prioritize proper due diligence, fair practices, and compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.

Impact on the Institutions

The imposition of these monetary penalties will have a financial impact on IDFC First Bank and LIC Housing Finance, underscoring the consequences of non-compliance. These regulatory actions serve as a reminder to all financial entities to strengthen their internal control mechanisms and enhance their compliance efforts to avoid similar penalties in the future.

Ongoing Oversight by the RBI

The RBI’s supervisory evaluation and subsequent penalties demonstrate its continuous monitoring of the financial sector. The central bank remains vigilant in identifying and addressing any deviations from the established norms to maintain the integrity and stability of the Indian financial system.

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