Non-Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) have emerged as the primary source of financing for a vast section of the population including small and medium-scale enterprises as well as the economically unserved and underserved individuals. They have been able to meet the diverse requirements of borrowers in the most efficient and timely approach considering their wide geographic reach, comprehension of the numerous financial needs of people, and extremely swift turnarounds. Therefore, non-bank lenders have contributed significantly to the cause of financial inclusion in this process and have also been a key component in fostering the expansion of millions of MSMEs and self-employed people. In addition to the growing role played by non-bank lenders in the consumer financing industry, the expansion of a few key economic sectors, including housing, consumer goods, and transportation, has been boosted. Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) have contributed towards the development of the country’s infrastructure. The availability of long-term funding by non-bank lenders has helped in the financial closure and growth of many large-scale infrastructural projects. Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) have played a crucial role in fostering credit expansion across a range of industries, including microfinance loans, personal loans, and auto finance loans.
NBFCs have become increasingly important in recent years as they have played a critical role in providing credit to individuals and businesses that are underserved by traditional banks. This is especially true in rural and semi-urban areas, where NBFCs have been able to fill the gap left by banks. One of the key advantages of NBFCs is their ability to be flexible in their lending practices. Unlike banks, which have a rigid set of guidelines for lending, NBFCs can tailor their lending practices to meet the specific needs of their clients. This has made them an attractive option for those who are looking for more personalised financial services. They are financial institutions that provide a wide range of banking services like loans, credit facilities, investments, and other financial products. NBFCs have played a significant role in the Indian economy’s growth story, especially in the rural and semi-urban areas. They cater to the financial needs of small and medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs, farmers, and individuals who do not have access to traditional banking services. In this article, we will explore the future of NBFCs in India.
Another advantage of NBFCs is their ability to provide loans quickly. Unlike banks, which have a lengthy approval process, NBFCs can approve loans much faster. This is because they have a smaller bureaucracy and can make decisions quickly. NBFCs have become increasingly important in India owing to the use of technology to reach wider audiences. Many NBFCs have developed digital platforms that allow customers to apply for loans online, making the process faster and more convenient. This has helped to attract a younger, tech-savvy customer base. The trend of consolidation has been beneficial for the NBFC space. The recent wave of mergers and acquisitions in this sector has been rising as larger NBFCs seek to expand their reach and smaller ones look to scale up their operations.
However, NBFCs also have their share of challenges. One of the biggest challenges facing NBFCs in India is access to funding. Unlike banks, which have access to low-cost deposits, NBFCs must rely on borrowing from banks or issuing bonds to raise funds. This can make it difficult for NBFCs to compete with banks on interest rates. Another challenge faced by NBFCs is the regulatory environment. While the RBI regulates NBFCs, there are also several other regulators that oversee different aspects of the financial services industry. This can create confusion for NBFCs, especially those that operate across multiple states or regions.
Despite these challenges, NBFCs have continued to grow in India. The government is taking several measures to ease the challenging situations prevailing in the sector by way of providing liquidity support to NBFCs, Housing Finance Companies (HFCs), as well as Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and introducing partial credit guarantee schemes, etc.
NBFCs have increasingly been playing a significant role in financial intermediation by complementing and competing with banks, and by bringing efficiency and diversity into the financial ecosystem. NBFCs enjoy greater operational flexibility to take up a wider scale of activities, enter new geographies and sectors and thus grow their operations.
After the pandemic decline, 2023 has brought growth for the NBFCs. It has demonstrated an innovative and resilient streak over the years which includes adapting efficiently even during the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid the revolving credit landscape. The market share of NBFCs has increased in the last few years with Asset Under Management (AUM) accounting for as much as 18% of the overall credit on March 2019, up from 12% in March 2008. A few challenges over the past three years lowered their share to 16% in fiscal 2022, with banks making bigger growth strides. The increase in NBFCs AUM from US$ 44.02 billion (Rs. 3.6 lakh crore) in March 2008 to almost US$ 330.21 billion (Rs. 27 lakh crore) in March 2022, and is expected to increase further, indicates the importance of the sector to overall credit delivery in the economy.