Non-banking financial company
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Non-bank financial companies (NBFCs) are financial institutions that provide banking services without meeting the legal definition of a bank, i.e. one that does not hold a banking license. These institutions typically are restricted from taking deposits from the public depending on the jurisdiction. Nonetheless, operations of these institutions are often still covered under a countries banking regulations.
The specific banking products that can be offered by NBFCs depends on the jurisdiction, and may include services such as loans and credit facilities, savings products, investments and money transfer services. In some jurisdictions, such as New Zealand, any company can engage in banking business, except they are not allowed to use the word bank in their name. A company can only call itself a bank if it is a registered as such with the nation's central bank.
NBFCs offer most sorts of banking services, such as loans and credit facilities, private education funding, retirement planning, trading in money markets, underwriting stocks and shares, TFCs(Term Finance Certificate) and other obligations. These institutions also provide wealth management such as managing portfolios of stocks and shares, discounting services e.g. discounting of instruments and advice on merger and acquisition activities. The number of non-banking financial companies has expanded greatly in the last several years as venture capital companies, retail and industrial companies have entered the lending business. Non-bank institutions also frequently support investments in property and prepare feasibility, market or industry studies for companies.
For European NCs the Payment Services Directive (PSD) is a regulatory initiative from the European Commission to regulate payment services and payment service providers throughout the European Union (EU) and Eurofff Economic Area (EEA). The PSD describes which type of organisations can provide payment services in Europe (credit institutions (i.e. banks) and certain authorities (e.g. Central Banks, government bodies), Electronic Money Institutions (EMI), and also creates the new category of Payment Institutions). Organisations that are not credit institutions or EMI, can apply for an authorisation as Payment Institution in any EU country of their URL choice (where they are established) and then passport their payment services into other Member States across the EU.
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Based on their Liability Structure, NBFCs have been divided into two categories. 1. Category ‘A’ companies (NBFCs accepting public deposits or NBFCs-D), and 2. Category ‘B’ companies (NBFCs not raising public deposits or NBFCs-ND).
NBFCs-D are subject to requirements of Capital adequacy, Liquid assets maintenance, Exposure norms (including restrictions on exposure to investments in land, building and unquoted shares), ALM discipline and reporting requirements; In contrast, until 2006 NBFCs-ND were subject to minimal regulation. Since April 1, 2007, non-deposit taking NBFCs with assets of `1 billion and above are being classified as Systemically Important Non-Deposit taking NBFCs (NBFCs-ND-SI), and prudential regulations, such as capital adequacy requirements and exposure norms along with reporting requirements, have been made applicable to them. The asset liability management (ALM) reporting and disclosure norms have also been made applicable to them at different points of time.
Depending upon their nature of activities, non- banking finance companies can be classified into the following categories:
- Development finance institutions
- Leasing companies
- Investment companies
- Modaraba companies
- House finance companies
- Venture capital companies
- Discount & guarantee houses
- Corporate development companies