NPAs of PSU banks may cross 18% in extreme case scenario: EX-RBI deputy guv H R Khan

New Delhi: Given the second COVID-19 wave all over the country, non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of public sector banks (PSBs) could cross 18 per cent if there is deterioration in economic activity due to the pandemic, former RBI deputy governor H R Khan said on Tuesday.

As per the Financial Stability Report released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the NPAs of the banking sector were projected to surge to 13.5 per cent of advances by September 2021, from 7.5 per cent in September 2020, under the baseline scenario.

The report had warned that if the macroeconomic environment worsens into a severe stress scenario, the NPA ratio may escalate to 14.8 per cent.

With regard to public sector banks, Khan said the latest Financial Stability Report indicates that NPAs can go up to 16 per cent in severe case scenario but extreme case scenario has not been portrayed this time.

"Given the second wave all over the country, I think the extreme case scenario is something which one has to factor in. So, 18-20 per cent NPL (non-performing loan) is not ruled out for public sector banks.

"So, systemic risk is something which the government does not want to take upon its shoulder," he said at a virtual conference organised by PHD Chamber.

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