NRB study finds anomalies prevailing in several areas of banking
“Discussions are insufficient on issues related to the identification, measurement, monitoring, and controlling of inherent risks that the bank faces as guided by the NRB Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) guideline,” states the report.
Board minutes, according to the report, reveal that excessive waivers have been provided to borrowers. The implementation status of decisions made and directions given to the management are rarely reviewed by the banks’ board. Some of the banks have not even appraised the performance of their CEOs as per the job contracts. The central bank has raised serious questions over the audit function of the BFIs. The audit committee of the banks has not performed its functions/duties as directed by the Banks and Financial Institutions Act (BAFIA) 2073, Company Act, and unified directives of NRB. Some of the banks lack adequate skilled staff in the audit function. In some banks, the performance appraisal of the head of Internal Audit was found to be done by DGM/CEO involved in credit administration. “This is in violation of NRB Directive 2078 which requires performance appraisal of the internal audit head to be done by the audit committee,” says the report. The report says banks have also not followed the process of appointing an audit firm. While BAFIA requires the audit committee to recommend three auditors to the annual general meeting (AGM) for appointment of the statutory auditor, audit committees of some banks have selected one auditor and then recommended that particular audit firm to the AGM for approval. The other major issue highlighted by the report is carelessness in the loan disbursement by the banks. Loans disbursed were not found to be used for the intended purpose but were classified as pass category which is non-compliance of the unified directives of NRB. According to the report, new loans were disbursed to settle existing demand loans/term loans/forced loans, settlement of interest at quarter-end, transferred to the account of sister concern without business transaction, and used to settle loan of sister concern in another bank. Ad-hoc loans are regularly used to settle the existing dues/interest of the loan. “Banks have weak post-disbursement monitoring mechanisms resulting in poor monitoring of utilization of loan after disbursement and so loan has been used for a purpose other than intended,” says the report. Banks have renewed revolving loans without obtaining basic documents required for credit appraisals such as audited financials, tax clearance certificates, firm renewal documents, and business inspection reports. In many cases, banks have been found to not properly assess the borrowers’ requirements, and instances of over-financing have been observed. Some of the banks have even provided personal loans above Rs 5m without any specific purpose, which is non-compliance with the NRB’s unified directives. Many banks have changed the interest premium to the loan clients against the provision of NRB’s unified directives. In the report, NRB says assets liability committees (ALCOs) of banks are found more in status reporting activities and lack proactive orientation regarding assets liability management. Off-balance sheet items are not generally considered while assessing liquidity position. Most of the ALCO meetings are focused on the revision of interest rates on deposits and loans, publication of interest rates, comparative analysis of market interest rates, and approval of deviation of commission and fees of individual clients rather than on strategic aspects like a review of the investment portfolio, and divestment strategy. The report has also said banks have shown little seriousness over the operational risk. Trainee interns have been found to be assigned to work in sensitive areas with user access in the core banking system (CBS), which is against the provision of NRB unified directives. According to NRB’s Supervision Department Chief Dev Kumar Dhakal, the central bank supervision has highlighted some of the anomalies in the banking system. “The report will help to control the irregularities,” he said. Nar Bahadur Thapa, former Executive Director of NRB said that there are issues in the lending of the banks. “Rather than properly utilizing the depositors’ money, the banks have been randomly issuing loans,” he said, “And, those who’re getting loans have also not used it properly.” The report says
- Most of the board agendas are related to credit appraisal or approval
- The board has spent less time on discussion of issues of compliance of NRB directives and prevalent laws.
- Board minutes reveal that excessive waivers have been provided to borrowers.
- Some of the banks have not even appraised the performance of their CEOs as per the job contracts.
- Some of the banks lack adequate skilled staff in the audit function.
- Banks have also not followed the process of appointing an audit firm.
- Loans disbursed were not found to be used for the intended purpose but were classified as pass category.
- New loans were disbursed to settle existing demand loans/term loans/forced loans, as well as for the settlement of interest at quarter-end
- Ad-hoc loans are regularly used to settle the existing dues/interest of the loan.
- Banks have renewed revolving loans without obtaining basic documents.
- Some of the banks have even provided personal loans above Rs 5m without any specific purpose.
- Trainee interns have been found to be assigned to work in sensitive areas with user access in the core banking system (CBS)
Sept. 6, 2023, 11:13 a.m.
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March 4, 2023, 10:31 p.m.
Jan. 25, 2023, 5:46 a.m.
Jan. 10, 2023, 3:26 a.m.