Money & Banking
Despite exit by small lenders, banks still prefer CDR cell

Banks still opt for consortium approach for lending and for restructuring. However, smaller banks are opting out of the CDR forum as they feel that big lenders are dictating terms and their interest is not protected

Mumbai: Despite some small private sector banks opting out of the corporate debt restructuring (CDR) cell, experts are of the opinion that most lenders will continue to be part of this forum as a consortium approach gives a lot of comfort over taking an individualistic route, reports PTI.
"The CDR process is bank and customer-specific. If a bank takes a call on an individual customer, there is nothing wrong in that. However, banks draw a lot of comfort from consortium approach and the CDR process is doing fine," K Ramakrishnan, Chief Executive of Indian Banks Association (IBA) told PTI.
"Banks still opt for consortium approach for lending and for restructuring. Except some aberrations or exceptional cases, multiple banking approaches is very much part of the domestic banking system," he added.
Recently, Yes Bank joined other financial institutions like Kotak Mahindra Bank, Development Credit Bank, IFCI and international lenders like Barclays and HSBC who have remained out of the CDR forum.
As per experts, the decision to stay out of the CDR forum is driven by the fact that the interests of small lenders are not protected in the prevailing CDR mechanism.
"Smaller banks are opting out of the CDR forum as they feel that big lenders are dictating terms and their interest is not protected. But, all banks can take their own view regarding a particular account to protect their interests," Angel Broking Vice-President, research, Vaibhav Agrawal said.
He, however, said the CDR mechanism is going to stay.
An official from a public sector bank said though the CDR cell has its own problems, consortium approach remains the best approach for a comprehensive view about a company.
Under the existing architecture, the financial sector is regulated by eight agencies including Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) and Forward Markets Commission (FMC).
As per the proposal, there would be five new agencies besides Reserve Bank and FSDC. The new ones would be UFA, Financial Sector Appellate Tribunal (FSAT), Financial Redressal Agency (FRA), Debt Management Office (DMO) and Resolution Corporation.
At present, while the stock market is regulated by SEBI, the activities in the commodities market are looked after by FMC. The insurance sector is regulated by the IRDA, while the PFRDA is responsible for managing the pension sector.
The Unified Financial Agency (UFA), the approach paper had said, would deal with all financial firms other than banking and payments. It would also yield benefits in terms of economies of scale in the financial system.
It had also said there is a need for separating the adjudication function from the mainstream activities of a regulator, so as to achieve a greater separation of powers.
It had further said that the laws for the financial sector need to enshrine regulatory independence.
The Commission as per its mandate would draft a body of law, which would ensure establishing sound financial regulatory agencies.
The FSLRC was set up to recast the financial sector legislations in tune with the contemporary requirements of the sector. At present, there are over 60 Acts and multiple rules and regulations that govern the financial sector.


Hurricane Sandy: Evacuations begin as US braces for huge storm

Hurricane Sandy has brought back memories of the hurricane Irene that had pounded the eastern seaboard last August, resulting in similar shutdowns, mass evacuations and power outages for millions

New York: The US East Coast braced itself to weather one of the worst storms in decades as Hurricane Sandy churned towards the densely populated areas of New York, Washington and Boston and threatened to dump inches of rain and snow, prompting evacuation of thousands of residents, reports PTI.


President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and New York and governors of the states in the path of the monster storm ordered mandatory evacuation of low-lying areas.


Over 6000 flights were cancelled across the country's northeast regions and 370,000 people were evacuated from New York city.


The hurricane was expected to make landfall in the New York/New Jersey area early. New York ordered shut down of its mass transit system, which caters to millions of passengers daily, beginning last evening, the second time in 14 months that the public transport system was brought to a halt.


Hurricane Sandy brought back memories of the hurricane Irene that had pounded the eastern seaboard last August, resulting in similar shutdowns, mass evacuations and power outages for millions.


"We have a plan to keep you and all New Yorkers safe. If you follow that plan, we'll get through this storm just fine. If you dont, people's lives are in danger. Not only yours, but the people who might be called to rescue you in an emergency," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a press conference.


"I can't stress enough that this is for your own safety, and that if you refuse to evacuate, you're not only putting yourself at risk, but also the first responders who will have to assist you in an emergency," he said.


In another unprecedented move, the UN headquarters here would remain closed today and possibly tomorrow due to the storm. All meeting at the UN were cancelled. The Nasdaq exchange also announced it would be closed today.


The city set up 76 evacuation shelters in public schools for people from low-lying areas of Coney Island, Manhattan Beach and other areas along the East River in Brooklyn in Manhattan.


The city's public schools, which cater to 1.1 million schoolchildren, were also ordered closed for Monday and the Coast Guard closed the New York Harbour.


The city's 468 subway stations, buses, rails, were also closed as officials advised people not to venture out. Utility companies warned that the hurricane could lead to power outages across several areas leaving people without electricity and heat for anywhere between 5-7 days.


Huge lines were seen outside grocery stores as water, food items, generators and batteries and other essential items flew off the shelves with residents stocking up for possible worse days after the storm has passed.


Forecasters said the water could top 8 feet from Ocean City, Maryland to the border between Connecticut and Rhode Island. They predicted the waves would rise to 6 feet on the south shore of Cape Cod. The storm was also expected to dump inches of snow in the region around Virginia.


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also authorised closure of all State Offices for Monday, due to the impending impact of Hurricane Sandy and dangerous weather conditions.


Christie encouraged residents to comply with orders and guidance from their local emergency management and government officials in preparing for the storm and to avoid any unnecessary risks when the storm makes landfall.


Both Obama and Romney cancelled events in Virginia.


Romney also cancelled his New Hampshire trip, but would continue with his campaign in the battleground states of Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin which are away from the storm.


"This is a serious and big storm," Obama said at headquarters of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington DC where he had gone to review the preparedness.


"And my first message is to all the people across the Eastern seaboard, Mid-Atlantic, going north, that you need to take this very seriously and follow the instructions of your state and local officials, because they are going to be providing you with the best advice in terms of how to deal with this storm over the coming days," Obama said.


The Indian Embassy in Washington and the Indian Consulate in New York announced that their offices would be closed today due to storm.


The TriVisa offices, to which the Indian Embassy has outsourced its visa services, has also closed its offices in both Now York and Washington.


Public Transport can undergo a change

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