regular-article-logo Monday, 05 June 2023

Nirmala Sitharaman asks state-run banks to assess risks

Finance minister says lenders have been asked to identify stress points, including 'concentration risks and adverse exposures'

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 26.03.23, 12:46 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File photo

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked state-run banks to assess various financial health parameters amid turbulence across the global banking sector.

After a meeting with chiefs of state-run banks in New Delhi on Saturday, the finance ministry said in a statement that lenders have been asked to identify stress points, including “concentration risks and adverse exposures”.


Ahead of the meeting, the government had sought details of the bond portfolios of these banks.

Banks should safeguard themselves from any potential financial shock, the finance minister told bankers according to the statement.

“All the major financial parameters indicate stable and resilient public sector banks,” the statement added.

Sitharaman reviewed the performance of public sector banks (PSBs) on various financial health parameters and their resilience in the wake of the current global financial scenario emanating from the failure of some international banks in the US and Europe.

During the two-hour meeting with MDs and CEOs of PSBs, an open discussion was held on the global scenario amid the failure of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank (SB), along with the issues leading to the crisis at Credit Suisse. She discussed the developing and immediate external global financial stress from both short and long-term perspectives.

During the PSB review meeting, she emphasised that the banks should undertake due diligence and adhere to the regulatory framework by focusing on risk management and diversification of deposits and assets base.

The finance minister underlined that PSBs must look at business models closely to identify stress points, including concentration risks and adverse exposures, the statement said, adding that she also exhorted PSBs to use this opportunity to frame detailed crisis management and communication strategies.

The chiefs of PSBs apprised Sitharaman that they follow the best corporate governance practices, adhere to regulatory norms, ensure prudent liquidity management and continue to focus on having robust asset-liability and risk management.

Further, PSBs said they are vigilant of developments in the global banking sector and are taking all possible steps to safeguard themselves from any potential financial shock.

All the major financial parameters indicate stable and resilient PSBs with robust financial health, it added.

Indian lenders are capable of enduring any potential contagion effects emanating from the US banking turmoil, S&P Global Ratings has said.“Strong funding profiles, a high savings rate, and government support are among the factors that bolster the financial institutions we rate,” the rating agency said.

The meeting was also attended by minister of state for finance Bhagwat Karad, financial services secretary Vivek Joshi and other senior officials.

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