After 15 years: New Securitisation regulatory framework takes effect

-Financial Services Division (

[This version dated 24th September, 2021. We are continuing to develop the write-up further – please do come back]

We invite you all to join us at the Indian Securitisation Summit, 2021. The details can be accessed here

On September 24, 2021, the RBI released Master Direction – Reserve Bank of India Securitisation of Standard Assets) Directions, 2021 (‘Directions’)[1]. The same has been released after almost 15 months of the comment period on the draft framework issued on June 08, 2020[2]. This culminates the process that started with Dr. Harsh Vardhan committee report in 2019[3].

It is said that capital markets are fast changing, and regulations aim to capture a dynamic market which quite often leads the regulation than follow it. However, the just-repealed Guidelines continued to shape and support the securitisation market in the country for a good 15 years, with the 2012 supplements mainly incorporating the response to the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Considering the fact that securitisation, along with its regulatory alternative (direct assignment) has become a very important channel of inter-connectivity and bridging between the non-banking finance companies and the banking sector, and since the ILFS crisis, has been almost existential for NBFCs, it is very important to examine how the new regulatory framework will support securitisation market in India.

By way of highlights:

  • The bar on securitisation of purchased loans has been removed; there is a holding period requirement for acquired loans, after which the same may be securitised.
  • The risk retention requirement for residential mortgage backed transactions has been reduced to 5%.
  • Minimum holding period reduced to 6 months maximum, whereas it will be 3 months in case of loans with a tenure of upto 2 years.
  • In line with EU and other markets, there is a new framework for simple, transparent and comparable (STC) securitisations, which will qualify for lower capital requirements for investors.
  • Ratings-based risk weights introduced for securitisation transactions, adopting the ERB approach of global regulators.
  • Direct assignments continue to be subjected to the familiar criteria – no credit enhancement or liquidity facility, adherence to MHP, etc. However, risk retention criteria in case of direct assignments, called Transfer of Loan Exposures, have been removed, except where the buyer does not do a due diligence for all the loans he buys.
  • By defining who all could be permitted transferees of loans, the fledgling market for sale of loans through electronic platforms, to permit retail investors to participate in the loan market, completely nipped in its bud.

Scope of Applicability

Effective date:

The Directions are applicable with immediate effect. This should mean, any transaction done or after the date of the notification of the Directions must be in compliance therewith. Para 4 of the Directions clearly provides that any transaction of securitisation “undertaken” subsequent to the notification of the Directions will have to comply with the same. This implies that 24th September is the last date for any securitisation transaction under the erstwhile Guidelines.

The immediate implementation of the new Directions may create difficulties for transactions which are mid-way. Para 4 refers to transactions undertaken after the notification date. What is the date of “undertaking” a transaction for determining the cut-off date? Quite often, securitization transactions involve a process which may be spread over a period of time. The signing of the deed of assignment is mostly the culmination of the process. In our view, if the transaction is already mid-way, and effective term sheets have been signed with investors within the 24th September, it will be improper to disrupt that which has already been structured.

Lending entities covered:

As proposed in the Draft Directions, the Directions are applicable to banks and small finance banks (excluding RRBs), all India Term financing institutions (NABARD, NHB, EXIM Bank, and SIDBI), NBFCs and HFCs. These institutions are referred to as Lenders (or Originators) herein.

Eligible Assets

What is not eligible:

The Directions provide a negative list i.e. list of the assets that cannot be securitised. These are:

  1. Re-securitisation exposures;
  2. Structures in which short term instruments such as commercial paper, which are periodically rolled over, are issued against long term assets held by a SPE. Thus, what is globally prevalent as “asset backed commercial paper” (ABCP) has been ruled out. ABCP transactions were seen as responsible for a substantial liquidity crisis during the GFC regime, and Indian regulators seem to have shunned the same.
  3. Synthetic securitisation; and
  4. Securitisation with the following assets as underlying:
    1. revolving credit facilities
    2. Restructured loans and advances which are in the specified period; [Notably, the Directions do not seem to define what is the “specified period” during which restructured facilities will have to stay off from the transaction. It appears that the bar will stay till the facility comes out of the “substandard” tag. This becomes clear from para 8 of the Directions.
    3. Exposures to other lending institutions;
    4. Refinance exposures of AIFIs; and
    5. Loans with bullet payments of both principal and interest as underlying;

The draft guidelines did not exclude 2, 3, 4(b), (c) and (d) above. It is noteworthy that the exposure to other lending institutions has also been put in the negative list. Further, synthetic securitisation, on which several transactions are based, also seems to be disallowed.

Apart from the above, all other on-balance sheet exposures in the nature of loans and advances and classified as ‘standard’ will be eligible to be securitised under the new guidelines.

With respect to agricultural loans, there are additional requirements, as prescribed in the draft directions. Further, MHP restrictions shall not be applicable on such loans.

What is not not eligible, that is, what is eligible:

It is also important to note that the bar on securitisation of loans that have been purchased by the originator goes away. On the contrary, Explanation below para 5 (l) [definition of Originator] clearly states that that the originator need not be the original lender; loans which were acquired from other lenders may also be the part of a securitisation transaction. Further, Para 9 provides that the respective originators of the said assets transferred to the instant originator should have complied with the MHP requirements, as per the TLE Directions.

At the same time, a re-securitisation is still negative listed. That is, a pool may consist of loans which have been acquired from others (obviously, in compliance with TLE Directions), but may not consist of a securitisation exposure.

Another notable structure which is possible is securitisation of a single loan. This comes from proviso to para 5 (s). This proposal was there in the draft Directions too. While, going by the very economics of structured finance, a single loan securitisation does not make sense, and reminds one of the “loan sell off” transactions prior to the 2006 Guidelines, yet, it is interesting to find this clear provision in the Directions.

Rights of underlying obligors

Obligors are borrowers that owe payments to the originator/ lender. Securitisation transactions must ensure that rights of these obligors are not affected. Contracts must have suitable clauses safeguarding the same and all necessary consent from such obligors must be obtained.

MRR Requirements

Underlying Loans MRR Manner of maintaining MRR
Original maturity of 24 months or less 5% Upto 5%-

●      First loss facility, if available;

●      If first loss facility not available/ retention of the entire first loss facility is less than 5%- balance through equity tranche;

●      Retention of entire first loss facility + equity tranche  < 5%- balance pari passu in remaining tranches sold to investors


Above 5%

●      First loss facility, or

●      equity tranche or

●      any other tranche sold to investors

●      combination thereof

In essence, the MRR may be a horizontal tranche, vertical tranche and a combination of the two (L tranche]. If the first loss tranche is within 5%, the first loss tranche has to be originator-retained, and cannot be sold to external investors. However, if the first loss tranche is more than 5%, it is only 5% that needs to be regulatorily retained by the originator.



Original maturity of more than 24 months


Loans with bullet repayments
RMBS (irrespective of maturity) 5%

Para 14, laying down the MRR requirements, uses two terms – equity tranche and “first loss facility”. While the word “first loss facility” is defined, equity tranche is not. Para 5(h) defines “first loss facility” to include first level of financial support provided by the originator or a third party to improve the creditworthiness of the securitisation notes issued by the SPE such that the provider of the facility bears the part or all of the risks associated with the assets held by the SPE .

However, Explanation below para 14 may be the source of a substantial confusion as it says OC shall not be counted as a part of the first loss facility for this purpose.

What might be the possible interpretation of this (euphemistically termed as) Explanation? OC is  certainly a form of originator support to the transaction, and economically, is a part of the first loss support. However, first loss support may come in different ways, such as originator guarantee, guarantee from a third party, cash collateral, etc. Equity tranche, deriving from the meaning of the word “tranche” which includes both the notes as also other forms of enhancement. Therefore, what the Explanation is possibly trying to convey is that in capturing the equity or first loss tranche, which, upto 5%, has to be  originator-retained, the OC shall not be included.

This, however, does not mean that the OC will not qualify for MRR purposes. OC is very much a part of the originator’s risk retention; however, in constructuring the horizontal, vertical and L tranche of transactions, the OC shall not be considered.

To give examples:

  • A transaction has 15% OC, and then a AAA rated tranche: In this case, the original has the 15% OC which meets the MRR requirement. He does not need to have any share of the senior tranches. This point, looking at the language of the Explanation, may be unclear and may, therefore, reduce the popularity of OC as a form of credit enhancement.
  • A transaction as 5% OC, 5% junior tranche, and remaining 95% as senior tranche. The originator needs to hold the entire 5% junior tranche (assuming original maturity > 24 months).
  • A transaction has 5% OC, 2% junior tranche, and 98% senior tranche. The originator needs to hold the entire 2% junior tranche, and 3% of the 98% senior tranche.

Para 16 first clarifies what is though clear from the 2006 Guidelines as well – that the requirement of retention of MRR through the life of the transaction does not bar amoritisation of the MRR. However, if MRR comes in forms such as cash collateral, it cannot be reduced over the tenure, except by way of absorption of losses or by way of reset of credit enhancements as per the Directions.

Listing Requirements

The Directions specify a minimum ticket size of Rs. 1 crore for issuance of securitisation notes. This would mean an investor has to put in a minimum of Rs 1 crore in the transaction. Further, the Directions also state that in case securitisation notes are offered to 50 or more persons, the issuance shall mandatorily be listed on stock exchange.

Interestingly, the limit of 50 persons seems to be coming from the pre-2013 rules on private placements; the number, now, is 200. It is typically unlikely that securitisation transactions have 50 or more investors to begin with. However, recently, there are several portals which try to rope in non-traditional investors for investing in securitisation transactions. These portals may still do a resale to more than 50; it is just that the number of investors at the inception of the transaction cannot be more than 49. Also, if there are multiple issuances, the number applies to each issuance. The number, of course, has to be added for multiple tranches.

The Draft Directions stated a issuance size based listing requirement in case of RMBS, as against the investor group size based requirement prescribed in the Directions.

SPE requirements

SPE requirements are largely routine. There is one point in para 30 (d) which may cause some confusion – about the minimum number of directors on the board of the SPE. This is applicable only where the originator has the right of nominating a board member. If the originator has no such right, there is no minimum requirement as to the board of directors of the SPE. In any case, it is hard to think of SPEs incorporated in corporate form in India.

Accounting provisions

The Directions give primacy to accounting standards, as far as NBFCs adopting IndAs are concerned. In such cases, upfront recognition of profit, as per “gain on sale” method, is explicitly permitted now. As for other lenders too, if the gain on sale is realised, it may be booked upfront.

Unrealised gains, if any, should be accounted for in the following manner:

  1. The unrealised gains should not be recognised in Profit and Loss account; instead the lenders shall hold the unrealised profit under an accounting head styled as “Unrealised Gain on Loan Transfer Transactions”.
  2. The profit may be recognised in Profit and Loss Account only when such unrealised gains associated with expected future margin income is redeemed in cash. However, if the unrealised gains associated with expected future margin income is credit enhancing (for example, in the form of credit enhancing interest-only strip), the balance in this account may be treated as a provision against potential losses incurred.
  3. In the case of amortising credit-enhancing interest-only strip, a lender would periodically receive in cash, only the amount which is left after absorbing losses, if any, supported by the credit-enhancing interest-only strip. On receipt, this amount may be credited to Profit and Loss account and the amount equivalent to the amortisation due may be written-off against the “Unrealised Gain on Loan Transfer Transactions” account bringing down the book value of the credit-enhancing interest-only strip in the lender’s books.
  4. In the case of a non-amortising credit-enhancing interest-only strip, as and when the lender receives intimation of charging-off of losses by the SPE against the credit-enhancing interest-only strip, it may write-off equivalent amount against “Unrealised Gain on Loan Transfer Transactions” account and bring down the book value of the credit-enhancing interest-only strip in the lender’s books. The amount received in the final redemption value of the credit-enhancing interest-only strip received in cash may be taken to the Profit and Loss account.

STC securitisations

Having a simple, transparent and comparable (STC) label for a securitisation transaction is a very important factor, particularly for investors’ acceptability of the transaction. Securitisation transactions are structured finance transactions –the structure may be fairly complicated. The transaction may be bespoke – created with a particular investor in mind; hence, the transaction may not be standard. Also, the transaction terms may not have requisite transparency.[4]

Simple transparent and comparable securitisations qualify for relaxed capital requirements. STC structures are currently prevalent and recognised for lower capital requirements in several European countries. The transactions are required to comply with specific guidelines in order to obtain a STC label. The Basel III guidelines set the STC criteria for the purpose of alternative capital treatment.

The STC criteria inter-alia provides for conditions based on asset homogeneity, past performance of the asset, consistency of underwriting etc.The Para 37 of the Directions provides that securitisations that additionally satisfy all the criteria laid out in Annex 1 of the Directions can be subject to the alternative capital treatment. The criteria mentioned in the Directions are at par with requirements of Basel III regulations.

Investors to the STC compliant securitisation are allowed relaxed risk-weights on the investment made by them.

The Directions further require, originator to disclose to investors all necessary information at the transaction level to allow investors to determine whether the securitisation is STC compliant.

STC criteria need to be met at all times. Checking the compliance with some of the criteria might only be necessary at origination. .In cases where the criteria refer to underlying, and the pool is dynamic, the compliance with the criteria will be subject to dynamic checks every time that assets are added to the pool.

Facilities supporting securitisation structures

A securitisation transaction may have multiple elements – like credit enhancement, liquidity support, underwriting support, servicing support. These are either provided by the originator itself or by third parties. The Directions aim to regulate all such support providers (“Facility Providers”).  The Directions require the Facility Providers to be regulated by at least one financial sector regulator. For this purpose, in our view, RBI, IRDAI, NHB, SEBI etc. may be considered as financial sector regulators.

Common conditions for all Facilities

For provision of any of the aforesaid facilities, the facility provider must fulfill the following conditions:

  • Proper documentation of the nature, purpose, extent of the facility, duration, amount and standards of performance
  • Facilities to be clearly demarcated from each other
  • On arm’s length basis
  • The fee of the Facility Provider should not be subject to subordination/waiver
  • No recourse to Facility Provider beyond the obligations fixed in the contract
  • Facility Provider to obtain legal opinion that the contract does not expose it to any liability to the investors

Credit Enhancement Facilities

In addition to the above mentioned conditions, following conditions must be fulfilled by the Facility Provider:

  • To be provided only at initiation of transaction
  • Must be available to SPV at all times
  • Draw downs to eb immediately written-off

Liquidity facilities

The provisions about liquidity facilities are substantially similar to what they have been in the 2006 Guidelines. However, the provisions of 2006 Guidelines and the Draft Directions requiring co-provision of liquidity facility to the extent of 25% by an independent party have been omitted. This would mean, the originator itself may now be able to provide for the liquidity facility if an independent party could not be identified or in any other case.

Underwriting facilities

Underwriting is hardly common in case of securitisations, as most issuances are done on bespoke, OTC basis. Again, most of the provisions in the Directions relating to underwriting are similar to the 2006 Guidelines with one difference. The 2006 Guidelines required Originators (providing underwriting facilities) to reduce Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital by the amount of holdings (if it is in excess of 10% of the issue size) in 50-50 proportion.

The Directions are silent on the same.

Servicing facilities

Third party service providers have started emerging in India, particularly by way of  necessity (forced by events of default  of certain originators) rather than commercial expediency.

The provisions of the Directions in para 59-60 are applicable even to proprietary servicing, that is, the originator acting as a servicer, as well as a third party servicer.

It is important to note that arms’ length precondition [Para 45 (b) ] is applicable to originator servicing too. Hence, if the servicing fees are on non-arms’ length terms, this may certainly amount to a breach of the Directions. The other requirement of para 45 (e) seems also critical – the payment of servicing fee should not be subordinated. There should not be any bar on structuring a servicing fee in two components – a fixed and senior component, and an additional subordinated component. This is common in case of third party servicers as well.

Lenders who are investors

The meaning of “lenders” who are investors, in Chapter V, should relate to the entities covered by the Directions, that is, banks, NBFCs, HFCs and term lending institutions, who are investing money into securitisation notes. Obviously, the RBI is not meant to regulate other investors who are outside RBI’s regulatory ambit. The part relating to stress testing was there in the earlier Guidelines too – this finds place in the Directions.

It is also made clear that the investors’ exposure is not on the SPE, but on the underlying pools. Hence, the see-through treatment as given in Large Exposures Framework applies in this case.

Capital requirements

Capital has to be maintained in all securitisation exposures, irrespective of the nature of the exposure an entity is exposed to. If the securitisation transaction leads to any realised or unrealised gain, the same must be excluded from the Common Equity Tier 1 or Net owned Funds, and the same must be deferred till the maturity of the assets.

Further, if an entity has overlapping exposures, and if one exposure precludes the other one by fulfilment of obligations of the former, then the entity need not maintain capital on the latter. For example, if an entity holds a junior tranche which provides full credit support to a senior tranche, and also holds a part of the senior tranche, then its exposure in the junior tranche precludes any loss from the senior tranche. In such a situation, the entity does not have to assign risk-weights to the senior tranche.

Liquidity facilities

For the liquidity facilities extended in accordance with Chapter IV of the Directions, capital can be maintained as per the External Rating Based Approach (which has been discussed later on). For liquidity facilities not extended in accordance with Chapter IV of the Directions, capital charge on the actual amount after applying a 100% CCF will have to be considered.

Derecognition of transferred assets for the purpose of Capital Adequacy

 The Directions has laid down clear guidelines on derecognition of transferred assets for capital adequacy, and has no correlation with accounting derecognition under Ind AS 109. Therefore, irrespective of whether a transaction achieves accounting derecognition or not, the originator will still be able to enjoy regulatory capital relief so long as the Directions are complied with.

There is a long list of conditions which have to be satisfied in order achieve derecognition, which includes:

  1. There should complete surrender of control over the transferred exposures. The originator shall be deemed to have retained effective control over the exposures if:
    • It is able to repurchase the exposures from the SPE in order to realise the benefits, or
    • It is obligated to retain the risk of the transferred exposures.
  2. The originator should not be able to repurchase the exposure, except for clean-up calls.
  3. The transferred exposures are legally taken isolated such that they are put beyond the reach of the creditors in case of bankruptcy or otherwise.
  4. The securitisation notes issued by SPE are not obligations of the originator.
  5. The holders of the securitisation notes issued by the SPE against the transferred exposures have the right to pledge or trade them without any restriction, unless the restriction is imposed by a statutory or regulatory risk retention requirement
  6. Clean-up call
    • The threshold at which clean-up calls become exercisable shall not be more than 10% of the original value of the underlying exposures or securitisation notes.
    • Exercise of clean-up calls should not be mandatory.
    • The clean-up call options, if any, should not be structured to avoid allocating losses to credit enhancements or positions held by investors or otherwise structured to provide credit enhancements
  7. The originators must not be obligated to replace loans in the pool in case of deterioration of the underlying exposures to improve the credit quality
  8. The originator should not be allowed to increase the credit enhancement provided at the inception of the transaction, after its commencement.
  9. The securitisation does not contain clauses that increase the yield payable to parties other than the originator such as investors and third-party providers of credit enhancements, in response to a deterioration in the credit quality of the underlying pool
  10. There must be no termination options or triggers to the securitisation exposures except eligible clean-up call options or termination provisions for specific changes in tax and regulation

Further, a legal opinion has to be obtained confirming the fulfilment of the aforesaid conditions.

The draft directions issued some quantitative conditions as well, which have been dropped from the final Directions.

Securitisation External Ratings Based Approach

 The Directions require the lenders to maintain capital as per the ERBA methodology. Where the exposures are unrated, capital charge has to be maintained in the actual exposure.

Para 85 signifies that the maximum capital computed as per the ERBA methodology will still be subject to a cap of the capital against the loan pool, had the pool not been securitised.

The maximum risk weight prescribed in the ERBA approach is 1250%, which holds good for banks, as they are required to maintain a capital of 8%. For NBFCs, the capital required is 15%, so the maximum risk weight should not have been more that 667%. However, para 85 should take care of this anomaly which limits the capital charge to the capital against the loan pool, had the pool not been securitised.

Investor disclosures

Disclosures, both at the time of the issuance, and subsequent thereto, form an important part of the Directions. A complete Chapter (Chapter VII) is dedicated to the same. The disclosures as laid in Annexure 2 are to be made at least on half yearly basis throughout the tenure of the transaction.

This includes substantial pool- level data- such as a matrix of % of the pool composition and corresponding maturities, weighted average, minimum and maximum MHP, MRR and its composition broken down into types of retention, credit quality of the pool (covering overdue, security related details, rating, distribution matrix of LTVs, Debt-to-Income ratios, prepayments etc.), distribution of underlying loan assets based on industry, geography etc.





[4] Our write-up on STC criteria can be viewed here;


Refer our write-up on guidelines for transfer of loan exposures here-

Global securitization enroute to pre-Covid heights

– Abhirup Ghosh (

The pandemic disrupted life economies across the globe, and so did it to securitization transactions. However, increase in vaccinations across the globe has had a positive impact on the most of the structured finance markets world-wide, but potential new variants continue to be a threat.

This write-up reviews the performance of securitization across the major jurisdictions.

Read more


–  Ministry of Finance relaxes the criteria for NBFCs to be eligible for enforcing security interest under SARFAESI

-Richa Saraf (


The Ministry of Finance has, vide notification[1] dated 24.02.2020 (“Notification”), specified that non- banking financial companies (NBFCs), having assets worth Rs. 100 crore and above, shall be entitled for enforcement of security interest in secured debts of Rs. 50 lakhs and above, as financial institutions for the purposes of the said Act.


RBI has, in its Financial Stability Report (FSR)[2], reported that the gross NPA ratio of the NBFC sector has increased from 6.1% as at end-March 2019 to 6.3% as at end September 2019, and has projected a further increase in NPAs till September 2020. The FSR further states that as at end September 2019, the CRAR of the NBFC sector stood at 19.5% (which is lower than 20% as at end-March 2019).

To ensure quicker recovery of dues and maintenance of liquidity, the Finance Minister had, in the Budget Speech, announced that the limit for NBFCs to be eligible for debt recovery under the SARFAESI is proposed to be reduced from Rs. 500 crores to asset size of Rs. 100 crores or loan size from existing Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 50 lakhs[3]. The Notification has been brought as a fall out of the Budget.

Our budget booklet can be accessed from the link below:


To determine the test for eligible NBFCs, it is first pertinent to understand the terms used in the Notification.

The Notification provides that NBFCs shall be entitled for enforcement of security interest in “secured debts”. Now, the term “secured debt” has been defined under Section 2(ze) of SARFAESI to mean a debt which is secured by any security interest, and “debt” has been defined under Section 2(ha) as follows:

(ha) “debt” shall have the meaning assigned to it in clause (g) of section 2 of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 (51 of 1993) and includes-

(i) unpaid portion of the purchase price of any tangible asset given on hire or financial lease or conditional sale or under any other contract;

(ii) any right, title or interest on any intangible asset or licence or assignment of such intangible asset, which secures the obligation to pay any unpaid portion of the purchase price of such intangible asset or an obligation incurred or credit otherwise extended to enable any borrower to acquire the intangible asset or obtain licence of such asset.

Further, Section 2(g) of the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993, provides that the term “debt” means “any liability (inclusive of interest) which is claimed as due from any person by a bank or a financial institution or by a consortium of banks or financial institutions during the course of any business activity undertaken by the bank or the financial institution or the consortium under any law for the time being in force, in cash or otherwise, whether secured or unsecured, or assigned, or whether payable under a decree or order of any civil court or any arbitration award or otherwise or under a mortgage and subsisting on, and legally recoverable on, the date of the application and includes any liability towards debt securities which remains unpaid in full or part after notice of ninety days served upon the borrower by the debenture trustee or any other authority in whose favour security interest is created for the benefit of holders of debt securities.”

Therefore, NBFCs having asset size of Rs. 100 crores and above as per their last audited balance sheet will have the right to proceed under SARFAESI if:

  • The debt (including principal and interest) amounts to Rs. 50 lakhs or more; and
  • The debt is secured by way of security interest[4].


An article of Economic Times[5] dated 07.02.2020 states that:

“Not many non-bank lenders are expected to use the SARFAESI Act provisions to recover debt despite the Union budget making this route accessible to more such lenders due to time-consuming administrative hurdles as well as high loan ticket limit.”

As one may understand, SARFAESI is one of the many recourses available to the NBFCs, and with the commencement of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, the NBFCs are either arriving at a compromise with the debtors or expecting recovery through insolvency/ liquidation proceedings of the debtor. The primary reasons are as follows:

  • SARFAESI provisions will apply only when there is a security interest;
  • NBFCs usually provide small ticket loans to a large number of borrowers, but even though their aggregate exposure, on which borrowers have defaulted, is substantially high, they will not able to find recourse under SARFAESI;
  • For using the SARFAESI option, the lender will have to wait for 90 days’ time for the debt to turn NPA. Then there is a mandatory 60 days’ notice before any repossession action and a mandatory 30 days’ time before sale. Also, the debtor may file an appeal before Debt Recovery Tribunal, and the lengthy court procedures further delay the recovery.

While the notification seems to include a larger chunk of NBFCs under SARFAESI, a significant question that arises here is whether NBFCs will actually utilise the SARFAESI route for recovery?





[4] Section 2(zf) “security interest” means right, title or interest of any kind, other than those specified in section 31, upon property created in favour of any secured creditor and includes-

(i) any mortgage, charge, hypothecation, assignment or any right, title or interest of any kind, on tangible asset, retained by the secured creditor as an owner of the property, given on hire or financial lease or conditional sale or under any other contract which secures the obligation to pay any unpaid portion of the purchase price of the asset or an obligation incurred or credit provided to enable the borrower to acquire the tangible asset; or

(ii) such right, title or interest in any intangible asset or assignment or licence of such intangible asset which secures the obligation to pay any unpaid portion of the purchase price of the intangible asset or the obligation incurred or any credit provided to enable the borrower to acquire the intangible asset or licence of intangible asset.


Sale assailed: NBFC crisis may put Indian securitisation transactions to trial

-By Vinod Kothari (

Securitisation is all about bankruptcy remoteness, and the common saying about bankruptcy remoteness is that it works as long as the entities are not in bankruptcy! The fact that any major bankruptcy has put bankruptcy remoteness to challenge is known world-over. In fact, the Global Financial Crisis itself put several never-before questions to legality of securitisation, some of them going into the very basics of insolvency law[1]. There have been spate of rulings in the USA pertaining to transfer of mortgages, disclosures in offer documents, law suits against trustee, etc.

The Indian securitisation market has faced taxation challenges, regulatory changes, etc. However, it has so far been immune from any questions at the very basics of either securitisability of assets, or the structure of securitisation transactions, or issues such as commingling of cashflows, servicer transition, etc. However, sitting at the very doorstep of defaults by some major originators, and facing the spectrum of serious servicer downgrades, the Indian securitisation market clearly faces the risk of being shaken at its basics, in not too distant future.

Before we get into these challenges, it may be useful to note that the Indian securitisation market saw an over-100% growth in FY 2019 with volumes catapulting to INR 1000 billion. In terms of global market statistics, Indian market may now be regarded as 2nd largest in ex-Japan Asia, only after China.

Since the blowing up of the ILFS crisis in the month of September 2018, securitisation has been almost the only way of liquidity for NBFCs. Based on the Budget proposal, the Govt of India launched, in Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme, a scheme for partial sovereign guarantee for AA-rated NBFC pools. That scheme seems to be going very well as a liquidity breather for NBFCs. Excluding the volumes under the partial credit enhancement scheme, securitisation volumes in first half of the year have already crossed INR 1000 billion.

In the midst of these fast rising volumes, the challenges on the horizon seem multiple, and some of them really very very hard. This write up looks at some of these emerging developments.

Sale of assets to securitisation trusts questioned

In an interim order of the Bombay High court in Edelweiss AMC vs Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited[2], the Bombay High court has made certain observations that may hit at the very securitisability of receivables.  Based on an issue being raised by the plaintiff, the High Court has directed the company DHFL to provide under affidavit details of all those securitisation transactions where receivables subject to pari passu charge of the debentureholders have been assigned, whether with or without the sanction of the trustee for the debentureholders.

The practice of pari passu floating charge on receivables is quite commonly used for securing issuance of debentures. Usually, the charge of the trustees is on a blanket, unspecific common pool, based on which multiple issuances of debentures are covered. The charge is usually all pervasive, covering all the receivables of the company. In that sense, the charge is what is classically called a “floating charge”.

These are the very receivables that are sold or assigned when a securitisation transaction is done. The issue is, given the floating nature of the charge, a receivable originated automatically becomes subject to the floating charge, and a receivable realised or sold automatically goes out of the purview of the charge. The charge document typically requires a no-objection confirmation of the chargeholder for transactions which are not in ordinary course of business. But for an NBFC or an HFC, a securitisation transaction is a mode of take-out and very much a part of ordinary course of business, as realisation of receivables is.

If the chargeholder’s asset cover is still sufficient, is it open for the chargeholder to refuse to give the no-objection confirmation to another mode of financing? If that was the case, any chargeholder may just bring the business of an NBFC to a grinding halt by refusing to give a no-objection.

The whole concept of a floating charge and its priority in the event of bankruptcy has been subject matter of intensive discussion in several UK rulings[3]. There have been discussions on whether the floating charge concept, a judge-made product of UK courts, can be eliminated altogether from the insolvency law[4].

In India, the so-called security interest on receivables is not really intended to be a security device – it is merely a regulatory compliance with company law rules under which unsecured debentures are treated as “deposits”[5]. The real intent of the so-called debenture trust document is maintenance of an asset cover, which may be expressed as a covenant, even otherwise, in case of an unsecured debenture issuance. The fact is that over the years, the Indian bond issuance market has not been able to come out of the clutches of this practice of secured debenture issuance.

While bond issuance practices surely need re-examination, the burning issue for securitisation transactions is – if the DHFL interim ruling results into some final observations of the court about need for the bond trustee’s NOC for every securitisation transaction, all existing securitisation transactions may also face similar challenges.

Servicer-related downgrades

Rating agencies have recently downgraded two notches from AAA ratings several pass-through certificate transactions of a leading NBFC. The rationale given in the downgrade action, among other things, cites servicer risks, on the ground that the originator has not been able to obtain continuous funding support from banks. While absence of continuing funding support may affect new business by an NBFC, how does it affect servicing capabilities of existing transactions, is a curious question. However, it seems that in addition to the liquidity issue, which is all pervasive, the rating action in the present case may have been inspired by some internal scheme of arrangement proposed by the NBFC in question.

This particular downgrades may, therefore, not have a sectoral relevance. However, what is important is that the downgrades are muddying the transition history of securitisation ratings. From the classic notion that securitisation ratings are not susceptible to originator-ratings, the dependence of securitisation transactions to pure originator entity risks such as internal funding strengths or scheme of arrangement puts a risk which is usually not considered by securitisation investors. In fact, the flight to securitisation and direct assignments after ILFS crisis was based on the general notion that entity risks are escaped by securitisation transactions.

Servicer transitions

The biggest jolt may be a forced servicer transition. In something like RMBS transactions, outsourcing of collection function is still easy, and, in many cases, several activities are indeed outsourced. However, if it comes to more complicated assets requiring country-wide presence, borrower franchise and regular interaction, if servicer transition has to be forced, the transaction will be worse than originator bankruptcy.

Questions on true sale

The market has been leaning substantially on the “direct assignment” route. Most of the direct assignments are seen by the investors are look-alikes and feel-alikes of a loan to the originator, save and except for the true-sale opinion. Investors have been linking their rates of return to their MCLR. Investors have been viewing the excess spread as a virtual credit support, which is actually not allowed as per RBI regulations. Pari-passu sharing of principal and interest is rarely followed by the market transactions.

If the truth of the sale in most of the direct assignment transactions is questioned in cases such as those before the Bombay High court, it will not be surprising to see the court recharacterise the so-called direct assignments as nothing but disguised loans. If that was to happen in one case of a failed NBFC, not only will the investors lose the very bankruptcy-remoteness they were hoping for, the RBI will be chasing the originators for flouting the norms of direct assignment which may have hitherto been ignored by the supervisor. The irony is – supervisors become super stringent in stressful times, which is exactly where supervisor’s understanding is required more than reprimand.


NBFCs are passing through a very strenuous time. Delicate handling of the situation with deep understanding and sense of support is required from all stakeholders. Any abrupt strong action may exacerbate the problem beyond proportion and make it completely out of control. As for securitisation practitioners, it is high time to strengthen practices and realise that the truth of the sale is not in merely getting a true sale opinion.

Other Related Articles:

[1] For example, in a Lehman-related UK litigation called Perpetual Trustees vs BNY Corporate Trustee Services, the typical clause in a synthetic securitisation diverting the benefit of funding from the protection buyer (originator – who is now in bankruptcy) to the investors, was challenged under the anti-deprivation rule of insolvency law. Ultimately, UK Supreme Court ruled in favour of securitisation transactions.

[2] Similar observations have been made by the same court in Reliance Nippon Life AMC vs  DHFL.

[3] One of the leading UK rulings is Spectrum Plus Limited, This ruling reviews whole lot of UK rulings on floating charges and their priorities.

[4] See, for example, R M Goode, The Case for Abolition of the Floating Charge, in Fundamental Concepts of Commercial Law (50 years of Reflection, by Goode)

[5] Or partly, the device may involve creation of a mortgage on a queer inconsequential piece of land to qualify as “mortgage debentures” and therefore, avail of stamp duty relaxation.

Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme

A Business Conclave on  “Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme” was organised by Indian Securitisation Foundation jointly with Edelweiss on September 16,2019 in Mumbai.

On this occasion, the presentation used by Mr. Vinod Kothari is being given here:


We have authored few articles on the topic that one might want to give a read. The links to such related articles are provided below:

Indian Securitisation Market opens big in FY 20 – A performance review and a diagnosis of the inherent problems in the market

By Abhirup Ghosh , (

Ever since the liquidity crisis crept in the financial sector, securitisation and direct assignment transactions have become the main stay fund raising methods for the financial sector entities. This is mainly because of the growing reluctance of the banks in taking direct exposure on the NBFCs, especially after the episodes of IL&FS, DHFL etc.

Resultantly, the transactions have witnessed unprecedented growth. For instance, the volume of transactions in the first quarter of the current financial year stood at a record ₹ 50,300 crores[1] which grew at 56% on y-o-y basis from ₹ 32,300 crores. Segment-wise, the securitisation transactions grew by whooping 95% to ₹ 22,000 crores as against ₹ 11,300 crores a year back. The volume of direct assignments also grew by 35% to ₹ 28,300 crores as against ₹ 21,000 crores a year back.

The chart below show the performance of the industry in the past few years:

Direct Assignments have been dominating market with the majority share. During Q1 FY 20, DAs constituted roughly 56% of the total market and PTCs filled up the rest. The chart below shows historical statistics about the share of DA and PTCs:

In terms of asset classes, non-mortgage asset classes continue to dominate the market, especially vehicle loans. The table below shows the share of the different asset classes of PTCs:

Asset class

Q1 FY 20 share Q1 FY 19 share FY 19 share
Vehicle (CV, CE, Car) 51% 57% 49%
Mortgages (Home Loan & LAP) 20% 0% 10%
Tractor 6% 0% 10%
MSME 5% 1% 4%
Micro Loans 4% 23% 16%
Lease Rentals 0% 13% 17%
Others 14% 6% 1%

Asset class wise share of PTCs

Source: ICRA

Shortcomings in the current securitisation structures

Having talked about the exemplary performance, let us now focus on the potential threats in the market. A securitisation transaction becomes fool proof only when the transaction achieves bankruptcy-remoteness, that is, when all the originator’s bankruptcy related risks are detached from the securitised assets. However, the way the current transactions are structured, the very bankruptcy-remoteness of the transactions has become questionable. Each of the problems have been discussed separately below:

Commingling risk

In most of the current structures, the servicing of the cash flows is carried out of the originator itself. The collections are made as per either of the following methods:

  1. Cash Collection – This is the most common method of repayment in case of micro finance and small ticket size loans, where the instalments are paid in cash. Either the collection agent of the lender goes to the borrower for collecting the cash repayments or the borrower deposits the cash directly into the bank account of the lender or at the registered office or branch of the lender.
  2. Encashment of post-dated cheques (PDCs) – The PDCs are taken from the borrower at the inception of the credit facility for the EMIs and as security.
  3. Transfer through RTGS/NEFT by the customer to the originator’s bank account.
  4. NACH debit mandate or standing instructions.


In all of the aforesaid cases, the payment flows into the current/ business account of the originator. The moment the cash flows fall in the originator’s current account, they get exposed to commingling risk. In such a case, if the originator goes into bankruptcy, there could be serious concerns regarding the recoverability of the cash flows collected by the originator but not paid to the investors. Also, because redirection of cash flows upon such an event will be extremely difficult to implement. Therefore, in case of exigencies like the bankruptcy of the originator, even an AAA-rated security can become trash overnight. This brings up a very important question on whether AAA-PTCs are truly AAA or not.


This issue can be addressed if, going forward, the originators originate only such transactions in which repayments are to happen through NACH mandates. NACH mandates are executed in favour of third party service providers which triggers direct debit from the bank account of the customers every month against the instalments due. Upon receipt of the money from the customer, the third party service providers then transfer the amount received to the originators. Since, the mandates are originally executed in the name of the third party service providers and not on the originators, the payments can easily be redirected in favour of the securitisation trusts in case the originator goes into bankruptcy. The ease of redirection of cash flows NACH mechanism provides is not available in any other ways of fund transfer, referred above.

Will the assets form part of the liquidation estate of the lessor, since under IndAS the assets continue to get reflected on Balance Sheet of the originator?

With the implementation of Ind AS in financial sector, most of the securitisation transactions are failing to fulfil the complex de-recognition criteria laid down in Ind AS 109. Resultantly, the receivables continue to stay on the books of the originator despite a legal true sale of the same. Due to this a new concern has surfaced in the industry that is, whether the assets, despite being on the books of the originator, be absolved from the liquidation estate of the originator in case the same goes into liquidation.

Under the current framework for bankruptcy of corporates in India, the confines of liquidation estate are laid in section 36 of the IBC. Section 36 (3) lays what all will be included therein. Primarily, section 36 (3) (a) is the relevant provision, saying “any assets over which the corporate debtor has ownership rights” will be included in the estate. There is a reference to the balance sheet, but the balance sheet is merely an evidence of the ownership rights. The ownership rights are a matter of contract and in case of receivables securitised, the ownership is transferred to the SPV.

The bounds of liquidation estate are fixed by the contractual rights over the asset. Contractually, the originator has transferred, by way of true sale, the receivables. The continuing balance sheet recognition has no bearing on the transfer of the receivables. Therefore, even if the originator goes into liquidation, the securitised assets will remain unaffected.


Despite the shortcomings in the current structures, the Indian market has opened big. After the market posted its highest volumes in the year before, several industry experts doubted whether the market will be able to out-do its previous record or for that matter even reach closer to what it has achieved. But after a brilliant start this year, it seems the dream run of the Indian securitisation industry has not ended yet.


2019 Securitisation volumes in India reach record high

By Falak Dutta (

Up, Up & Above!

Yet another year went by and Indian securitization market certainly had a year to rejoice. Starting from the volume of transactions to innovative structures, the market has everything to boast about. Before we discuss each of these at length, let us take stock of the highlights first:

  • The securitization volumes doubled during the year, as securitization in India became a trillion rupee market.
  • DAs continued to be the preferred mode of transaction with Mortgages as the dominant asset class.
  • Clarity on Goods & Services Tax, increased participation of private banks, NBFCs and mutual funds along with healthy demand for non-priority sector loan were primary reasons for this sharp growth.
  • DHFL & IL&FS rushed to securitize as traditional sources of funding dried up due to concerns of debt servicing in the 2nd half of 2018.
  • The country witnessed the first issuance of covered bonds during year.
  • Several new structures were tried, namely, lease receivables securitization, corporate loan securitization, revolving structures etc.

Securitization volumes reaching all time high

The volume of retail securitization grew by 123% as figures soared to ₹1.9 lakh crore compared to ₹85,000 crore in fiscal ’18. Mortgages, vehicle loans and microfinance loans constituted the three major asset classes comprising of 84% of the total volume. The growth was primarily propelled by a combination of three factors.

First, a few big players who stayed away from the market returned after the GST Council clarified that securitized assets are not subject to GST.

Second, Two non-banking companies (DHFL& IL&FS) rushed to securitize their receivables as traditional sources of financing dried up after September 2018. After this, banks started preferring portfolio buyouts over taking credit exposure on the NBFCs.

Third, subsequent to the liquidity crisis faced by several NBFCs, RBI relaxed guidelines of minimum holding period requirement for securitization transactions backed by long duration loans leading to greater number of eligible securitized assets.

The graph below shows the performance of the Indian securitization market over the years:

Source: CRISIL Estimates. Figures in ₹10 Billions

Traditionally the bulk of securitization transactions have been driven by Priority Sector Lending (PSL) from banks. At present though, securitization transactions are being increasingly backed by non PSL assets that are making their presence felt as they gain market traction. The trend has been clear. The share of non-PSL assets as a part of total transaction rose to a record of 42% in 2018, up from 33% in 2017 and a relatively moderate share of 26% in 2016. Banks are focusing on securing long term assets such as mortgages that have displayed fairly stable asset quality to expand their retail asset portfolio.

The case for PSLCs

An additional recurring theme is the growing popularity in PSLCs which serves as a direct alternative to securitization. The volume of transactions have skyrocketed to ₹ 3.3 lakh crore in fiscal ’19 up from ₹ 1.9 lakh crore in fiscal ‘18 and ₹ 49,000 crore in fiscal ‘17. PSLCs which were introduced in 2015, was an idea which appeared in the report of a Dr. Raghu Ram Rajan led Committee- A Hundred Small Steps. Out of the four kinds of PSLCs, the PLSC- General and PSLC- Small and Marginal Farmers remain the highest traded segments. The supply side consists of private sector banks with excess PSL in the general PSLCs category and Regional Rural Banks in SFMF category.

PTCs vs. DAs

Another point of note is the increasing share of the DA’s in the securitization market. The move from PTCs to DA isn’t surprising given the absence of credit enhancements, amount of capital requirements and relatively less regulatory due diligence in DAs. The fact that the share of PTC transaction fell from 47% in fiscal ‘17 to 42% in fiscal ’18 and further to 36% in fiscal ’19 serves as a case in point. However, one hasn’t impeded the growth for the other. DA transactions soared a record 146%. Whereas PTCs soared 95% reaching a volume of ₹69,000 crore. Also, mortgages still remain the preferred asset class, accounting for almost 74% of DA volumes and 46% of total securitization volumes.

Source: CRISIL1 Estimates

Source: CRISIL[1]

India on the Global Map

2018 was a landmark year for global securitization with over a trillion dollars’ worth of issue, as the memories of the 2008 crisis gradually fade into oblivion. The U.S has been the major player in the global market, issuing over half of the total transactions by volume. Europe recorded a surge in volume clocking $106 billion against $82 billion in 2017. In Asia, China both grew and remained the dominant player in Asia at $310 billion, followed by Japan at $58 billion. Elsewhere issuance in Australia and Latin America declined. Some potential factors that could affect the global markets in the coming future include the Brexit uncertainty, market volatility, rising interest rates, renegotiations of existing trade agreements and liquidity. Some of these are contentious issues, the effects of which could sustain beyond the near future.


Source: SP Global[2], Values in $US Billion


Heading into the next fiscal year, some of the tailwinds that propelled the market in fiscal 2019 are fading gradually. Pent-up supply following the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has almost exhausted, the funding environment for non-banks have been steadily stabilizing and the relaxation on the minimum holding period will be only available till May 2019. The entry of a new segment of investors- NBFC treasuries, foreign portfolio investors, mutual funds and others such brought about differing risk appetites and return aspirations which paved the way for newer asset classes. The trend for education loan receivables and consumer durables loan receivables accelerated in fiscal 2019. Although, the overall volumes of these unconventional asset classes are relatively small at present, investor presence in these non-AAA rated papers is a good sign for the long term prospects of the securitization markets.

“The Indian securitization market in 2018 have attained several significant milestones: from significant growth in non-PSL volumes, to asset class diversity, to attracting new investor base, to innovative structures, the market seems ready to launch into a new trajectory.”, stated Mr. Vinod Kothari, Director at Vinod Kothari Consultants.

He added, “It is only in stressful times that securitization has shone globally– the Indian financial sector has gone through some stress scenarios in the recent past, and securitization has been able to sustain the growth of the financial sector.”







Securitisation laws prevailing in various countries are listed below :

  • Singapore:
  1. Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Guidelines on Securitisation (The guidelines were finalized in 2000)
  2. Amendment in 2018
  3. Amendment in 2007
  4. News on Securitisation
  5. Rules on Securitisation
  • USA:
  1. 15 U.S. Code § 78o–11. Credit risk retention:
  2. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act [Public Law 111–203] [As Amended Through P.L. 115–174, Enacted May 24, 2018]
  3. Securitisation Market
  4. Laws on Securitisation
  • Australia:
  1. Australian Prudential Standard (APS) 120 made under section 11AF of the Banking Act 1959 (the Banking Act) By Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
  2. Covered Bonds issued under Part II, Division 3A of the Banking Act 1959 (Cth)
  3. Laws on Securitisation
  4. Securitisation Market
  • Indonesia:
  1. Bank Indonesia Regulation No. 7/4/PBI/2005 Prudential Principles in Asset Securitisation for Commercial Banks
  2. Securitisation Market
  • Hong Kong: 
  1. There is no specific legislative regime for securitisation. Securitisation is subject to various Hong Kong laws, depending on the transaction structure, transaction parties, underlying assets, and the nature of the offering of the securities
  2. Securitisation Market
  • Canada:
  1. Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Government of Canada
  2. Securitisation Market
  • European Union:(UK, Germany, France,Italy, Sweden, Poland, Spain, Greece, Finland, Malta)
  1. Regulation(EU) 2017/2402 (the Securitisation Regulation) as on December 12,2017
  2. Regulation (EU) 2017/2402 of the European Parliament and of the Council of September 30, 2015
  3. Securitisation Market:


  • Italy:
  1. Law 130 of 30 April 1999, Italian securitisation law
  2. Securitistion Market
  • Greece:
  1. GREEK LAW 3156/2003
  • France:
  1. Order No. 2017-1432 of October 4, 2017 , Modernizing the Legal Framework for Asset Management and Debt Financing (Initial Version)
    Version in force on 26/03/2019
  2. Securitisation Market:
  • Japan: Securitisation in Japan is governed by laws and regulations applicable to specific types of transactions such as the Civil Code (Law No. 89, 1896), the Trust Act (Law No. 108, 2006) and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law (Law No. 25, 1948) (FIEL).
  4. Laws on Securitisation
  5. Securitisation Market
  • China:
  1. Administrative Rules for Pilot Securitization of Credit Assets(the Administrative Rules) on April 2005
  2. Securitisation Market
  • Ireland:
  1. European Union (General Framework For Securitisation And Specific Framework For Simple, Transparent And Standardised Securitisation) Regulations 2018 (Central Bank of Ireland)
  • South Africa:
  1. In South Africa, securitisations are regulated according to the securitisation regulations issued under the Banks Act 94 of 1990 (the Banks Act)
  1. Government Gazette 30628 of 1 January 2008 (Securitisation Regulations)
  2. Laws on Securitisation
  3. Securitisation Market
  • Morocco:
  1. Law No. 33-06 on Securitization
  2. Draft amendment of Law on Securitization

Accounting for Direct Assignment under Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS)

By Team IFRS & Valuation Services ( (


Direct assignment (DA) is a very popular way of achieving liquidity needs of an entity. With the motives of achieving off- balance sheet treatment accompanied by low cost of raising funds, financial sector entities enter into securitisation and direct assignment transactions involving sale of their loan portfolios. DA in the context of Indian securitisation practices involves sale of loan portfolios without the involvement of a special purpose vehicle, unlike securitisation, where setting up of an SPV is an imperative.

The term DA is unique to India, that is, only in Indian context we use the term DA for assignment of loan or lease portfolios to another entity like bank. Whereas, on a global level, a similar arrangements are known by various other names like loan sale, whole-loan sales or loan portfolio sale.

In India, the regulatory framework governing Das and securitisation transactions are laid down by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The guidelines for governing securitisation structures, often referred to as pass-through certificates route (PTCs) were issued for the first time in 2006, where the focus of the Guidelines was restricted to securitisation transactions only and direct assignments were nowhere in the picture. The RBI Guidelines were revised in 2012 to include provisions relating to direct assignment transactions.

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