RBI takes action against ECL and EARCL finance firms

The business restrictions being placed now shall be reviewed after the rectification of the supervisory observations by the group to the satisfaction of the Reserve Bank.

RBI takes action against ECL and EARCL finance firms

The Reserve Bank of India has today, in the exercise of its powers under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI) and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 imposed business restrictions on the following supervised entities respectively, belonging to the Edelweiss Group.

The Reserve Bank has directed-

 ECL Finance Ltd (ECL) is to cease, with immediate effect, from undertaking any structured transactions in respect of its wholesale exposures, other than repayment and/ or closure of accounts in its normal course of business.

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 Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company Limited (EARCL) to cease from acquisition of financial assets including security receipts (SRs) and reorganize the existing SRs into senior and subordinate tranches.

The action is based on material concerns observed during supervisory examinations, essentially arising out of the conduct of the group entities acting in concert, by entering into a series of structured transactions for evergreening stressed exposures of ECL, using the platform of EARCL and connected AIFs, thereby circumventing applicable regulations. Incorrect valuation of SRs was also observed in both ECL and EARCL.

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Apart from the above, in ECL, supervisory observations included submission of incorrect details of its eligible book debts to its lenders for computation of drawing power, non-compliance with loan-to-value norms for lending against shares, incorrect reporting to Central Repository for Information on Large Credits system (CRILC) and non-adherence to Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines.

ECL, by taking over loans from non-lender entities of the group for ultimate sale to the group ARC, allowed itself to be used as a conduit to circumvent regulations that permit ARCs to acquire financial assets only from banks and Financial Institutions.

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