The number of wilful defaulters in India has increased by nearly Rs 50,000 crore in the past year, from Rs 304,063 crore in March 2022 to Rs 353,874 crore in March 2023.
State Bank of India (SBI) has the highest number of wilful default accounts, followed by Punjab National Bank (PNB), Union Bank of India, IDBI Bank, and Bank of Baroda.
The State Bank of India (SBI) has reported 1,921 wilful default accounts, involving Rs 79,271 crore, Punjab National Bank Rs 41,353 crore, Union Bank Rs 35,623 crore, Bank of Baroda Rs 22,754 crore, and IDBI Bank Rs 24,192 crore.
State Bank of India (SBI) topped the list with 1,881 wilful default accounts for Rs 79,227 crore as of December 2022, followed by PNB at Rs 38,333 crore (2,143 accounts), Union Bank of India Rs 35,561 crore (1,747 accounts), IDBI Bank Rs 23,601 crore (335 accounts) and Bank of Baroda Rs 23,879 crore (2,203 accounts), according to data from Cibil website. Public sector banks account for 85 per cent of the wilful defaults at Rs 292,865 crore.
Among private banks, Axis Bank had 607 wilful default accounts for Rs 2,005.9 crore, ICICI Bank 59 accounts for Rs 2,136.5 crore and HDFC Bank 49 accounts for Rs 505.5 crore. Private banks (excluding IDBI Bank) reported 1.822 such accounts for Rs 30,809 crore as of December 2022.
Banks, all types, have filed suits against 36,150 NPA accounts to recover Rs 9.26 lakh crore as of March 2023. Many of these legacy accounts are likely to be added to the wilful default category when the RBI issues the final guidelines.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed new draft master directions on the treatment of wilful defaulters and large defaulters, which would refine the identification process and mandate a review and finalisation on wilful default aspects within six months of an account being classified as a non-performing asset (NPA).
Under the new rules, wilful defaulters will be eligible for compromise settlements.
The top 50 wilful defaulters in India owe Rs 87,295 crore to banks and financial institutions. Gitanjali Gems is the biggest wilful defaulter, owing Rs 8,738 crore to banks.
The number of wilful defaults in Indian banks is on the rise, and the RBI is taking steps to address this issue. The new draft master directions are expected to help banks to identify and recover wilful defaults more effectively.