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Budget 2019: Govt hands over housing finance companies to RBI from NHB

HFCs, which so far have conducted business with light-touch regulation, will likely face intense scrutiny

Subrata Panda 

Liquidity management tool: RBI may have to balance old norms with the new

The government has taken away the powers of the National Housing Bank (NHB) to regulate housing finance companies (HFCs) and handed them to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act will be amended to give the RBI powers to regulate the HFC sector.

NHB was part of the RBI till April this year when the government decided to take it over.

“NHB, besides being the refinancer and lender, is also regulator of the housing finance sector. This gives a somewhat conflicting and difficult mandate to NHB. I am proposing to return the regulation authority over the housing finance sector from NHB to RBI”, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech.

Experts say this move would ensure that there is greater parity in regulations for NBFCs and HFCs.

However, HFCs, which so far have conducted business with light-touch regulation, will likely face intense scrutiny. This also enables the RBI to directly give liquidity support to the ailing HFC sector.

As soon as the RBI got the regulatory powers, it offered a liquidity window to banks to help support NBFCs and HFCs.

First Published: Sat, July 06 2019. 02:22 IST
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