Securitisation of stressed loans: Opportunities and structures

Comments on RBI’s Discussion Paper on Securitisation of Stressed Assets Framework (SSAF) dated January 25, 2023

Timothy Lopes, Manager | Vinod Kothari Consultants Pvt. Ltd.


At present, in India, there exists a framework for securitisation of standard assets only. in September, 2021 the RBI issued the ‘Master Direction – Reserve Bank of India (Securitisation of Standard Assets) Directions, 2021’ (‘SSA Directions’)[1], which deals with standard asset securitisation. Under the SSA Directions, the definition of standard assets does not include non-performing loans, i.e., only those assets with a delinquency up to 89 days, would qualify for securitisation under the SSA directions.

For assets that turn non-performing, i.e., 89+ days-past-due (‘DPD’), including those that retain the classification as the borrower has not been able to clear all his past arrears, the  same can, at present, be sold under the Master Direction – Reserve Bank of India (Transfer of Loan Exposures) Directions, 2021 (‘TLE Directions’)[2], which has a framework for sale of stressed assets (which includes non-performing assets).  Technically, there is a process of “securitisation” of non-performing loans (‘NPLs’), by issuing “security receipts” (‘SRs’) against the same; however, the framework for issue and investing in SRs is quite different, and is normally not captured as a part of securitisation in the industry parlance[3].

Assets sold through the TLE route require a complete arm’s length sale, without any credit support from the seller and there is typically no tranching. This results in substantial haircuts on these stressed loan pools. Further, most of the NPLs that face a problem in the current scenario are retail loans or re-performing loans (see discussion on re-performing loans later). These retail pools are not normally sold under the ARC route since ARCs lack the capability in this specific asset class and are more suited towards wholesale transactions.

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The sale of season: Holding period requirements for assignments and securitisation

– Team Finserv |

Any sale or assignment or transfer, including securitisation, of loans is subject to a minimum seasoning with the originator. Under the extant regulatory provisions, such requirement is referred to as ‘Minimum Holding Period’ (MHP), which means the minimum period for which the originator should have held the loan exposures before the same is transferred to the transferee or Special Purpose Entity (SPE), as the case may be. This serves several purposes: that the loan was not originated for sale, the originator has had some equity in the loans, and that there is a benefit of hindsight of performance.

MHP requirements have always been a part of the regulations in India. However, on December 5, 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made certain amendments to the Master Direction – Reserve Bank of India (Transfer of Loan Exposures) Directions, 2021[1] (‘TLE Directions’) as well as the Master Direction – Reserve Bank of India (Securitisation of Standard Assets) Directions, 2021[2] (‘SSA Directions’). Among the other changes, there was a change in the MHP provisions; this change may have a significant impact on future transactions. 

This write-up intends to clarify the position with respect to the computation of MHP for different types of loans under TLE Directions as well as SSA Directions.

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