RBI curbs business of 2 Edelweiss Group firms over breach of rules

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday imposed business restrictions with immediate effect on two Edelweiss Group firms — ECL Finance Limited and Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company Limited, citing material supervisory concerns.

The RBI has directed ECL Finance Ltd (ECL) to cease and desist, 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

The RBI has also ordered Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company Limited (EARCL) to cease and desist from the acquisition of financial assets, including security receipts (SRs) and reorganising the existing SRs into senior and subordinate tranches.

The RBI said that the action is based on material concerns observed during the course of supervisory examinations, essentially arising out of 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. 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,” the RBI said.

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 which permit ARCs to acquire financial assets only from banks and financial institutions, according to the RBI.

In EARCL, other violations included not placing the Reserve Bank’s supervisory letter issued after the previous inspection for 2021-22 before the Board, non-compliance with regulations pertaining to the settlement of loans and sharing of non-public information of its clients with group entities, the RBI said.

Instead of taking meaningful remedial action to rectify the said deficiencies, it was observed that the group entities were resorting to new ways to circumvent regulations, the RBI added.


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