Introduction of New Category of NBFCs – ‘Non Banking Financial Company-Micro Finance Institutions’ (NBFC-MFIs) – Directions

1.As indicated in the Second Quarter Review of Monetary Policy in November 2010, a Sub-Committee of the Central Board of the Reserve Bank (Chairman: Shri Y. H. Malegam) was constituted to study issues and concerns in the MFI sector. The Committee submitted its report in January 2011. In the Monetary Policy Statement 2011-12, it was announced that the broad framework of regulations recommended by the Committee has been accepted by the Bank.

2. Creation of a Separate Category of NBFC-MFI 

It has been decided to create a separate category of NBFCs viz; Non Banking Financial Company-Micro Finance Institution (NBFC-MFI). Consequently there would be following categories of NBFCs:

  • Asset Finance Company (AFC)
  • Investment Company (IC)
  • Loan Company (LC)
  • Infrastructure Finance Company (IFC)
  • Core Investment Company (CIC)
  • Infrastructure Debt Fund- Non- Banking Financial Company (IDF-NBFC)
  • Non-Banking Financial Company – Micro Finance Institution (NBFC-MFI).

3. The Sub-Committee had recommended a role for industry associations in monitoring of compliance by NBFC-MFIs with the regulations. Separate guidelines in this regard will follow.

4. The Notification DNBS.PD.No.234 CGM(US)2011 dated December 02, 2011 containing the regulatory framework for NBFC-MFIs, the amending notifications DNBS.PD.No.235/CGM(US) 2011 dated December 02, 2011amending the Non-Banking Financial (Non-Deposit accepting or holding) Companies Prudential Norms (Reserve Bank) directions, 2007 and DNBS.PD.No.236/CGM(US)2011 dated December 02, 2011 amending the Non-Banking Financial Companies Auditor’s Report (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2008 are enclosed for meticulous compliance.

Notification DNBS. PD.No.234 / CGM(US)-2011 dated December 02, 2011 
The Reserve Bank of India having considered it necessary in the public interest and being satisfied that for the purpose of enabling the Bank to regulate the credit system to the advantage of the country, it is necessary to give the directions set out below, hereby, in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 45JA, 45K, 45L and 45M of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (2 of 1934), and of all the powers enabling it in this behalf, hereby gives the Directions hereinafter specified.


1. Short title and commencement of the Directions

i. These Directions shall be known as the Non-Banking Financial Company -Micro Finance Institutions (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2011.

ii. These Directions shall come into force with immediate effect.

2. Extent of the Directions

These Directions shall apply to every Non Banking Financial Company-Micro Finance Institution (NBFC-MFI) as defined in these Directions.

3. Definition of NBFC-MFI

An NBFC-MFI is defined as a non-deposit taking NBFC(other than a company licensed under Section 25 of the Indian Companies Act, 1956) that fulfils the following conditions:

i. Minimum Net Owned Funds of Rs.5 crore. (For NBFC-MFIs registered in the North Eastern Region of the country, the minimum NOF requirement shall stand at Rs. 2 crore).

ii. Not less than 85% of its net assets are in the nature of “qualifying assets.”

For the purpose of ii. above,

“Net assets” are defined as total assets other than cash and bank balances and money market instruments.

“Qualifying asset” shall mean a loan which satisfies the following criteria:-

loan disbursed by an NBFC-MFI to a borrower with a rural household annual income not exceeding Rs. 60,000 or urban and semi-urban household income not exceeding Rs. 1,20,000;

loan amount does not exceed Rs. 35,000 in the first cycle and Rs. 50,000 in subsequent cycles;

total indebtedness of the borrower does not exceed Rs. 50,000;

tenure of the loan not to be less than 24 months for loan amount in excess of Rs. 15,000 with prepayment without penalty;

loan to be extended without collateral;

aggregate amount of loans, given for income generation, is not less than 75 per cent of the total loans given by the MFIs;

loan is repayable on weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalments at the choice of the borrower

iii. Further the income an NBFC-MFI derives from the remaining 15 percent of assets shall be in accordance with the regulations specified in that behalf.

iv. An NBFC which does not qualify as an NBFC-MFI shall not extend loans to micro finance sector, which in aggregate exceed 10% of its total assets.

4. Regulatory Framework for NBFC-MFIs

A. Entry Point Norm

As stated above, all new NBFC-MFIs except those in the North Eastern Region of the country should have a minimum Net Owned Funds(NoF) of Rs 5 crore; those located in the North eastern region should have a minimum NoF of Rs. 2 crore for purposes of registration. The existing NBFCs to be classified as NBFC-MFIs will be required to comply with this norm w.e.f April 01, 2012.

B. Prudential Norms

a. Capital Requirement

All new NBFC-MFIs shall maintain a capital adequacy ratio consisting of Tier I and Tier II Capital which shall not be less than 15 percent of its aggregate risk weighted assets. The total of Tier II Capital at any point of time, shall not exceed 100 percent of Tier I Capital. The risk weights for on-balance sheet assets and the credit conversion factor for off-balance sheet items will be as provided in para 16 of the Non-Banking Financial (Non-Deposit Accepting or Holding) Companies Prudential Norms (Reserve bank) Directions 2007.


i. Among the existing NBFCs to be classified as NBFC-MFIs, those with asset size less than Rs. 100 crore will be required to comply with this norm w.e.f April 01,

Source : RBI/2011-12/290
DNBS.CC.PD.No. 250/03.10.01/2011-12
Dated : December 02, 2011
Applicable On : All NBFCs(excluding RNBCs) 

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