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RBI directs lenders to provide ‘key fact statement’ to borrowers, fresh changes to be implemented from October 1 Reserve Bank of India
Photo Courtesy: Wikiemdia Commons

RBI directs lenders to provide ‘key fact statement’ to borrowers, fresh changes to be implemented from October 1

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 16 Apr 2024, 03:14 pm

The Reserve Bank of India on Monday (April 15, 2024) directed all banks and regulated entities not to levy additional fees on loans that were not previously disclosed in the Key Fact Statement (KFS).

The central bank of the country said from October 1 the banks will be bound by the terms of the loan indicated in the Key Fact Statement (KFS) if the borrower agrees to them.

"REs shall put in place the necessary systems and processes to implement the above guidelines at the earliest. In any case, all new retail and MSME term loans sanctioned on or after October 1, 2024, including fresh loans to existing customers, shall comply with the above guidelines in letter and spirit without any exception," the central bank said in a statement.

"As announced in the Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies dated February 8, 2024, it has been decided to harmonize the instructions on the subject. This is being done in order to enhance transparency and reduce information asymmetry on financial products being offered by different regulated entities, thereby empowering borrowers for making an informed financial decision. The harmonised instructions shall be applicable in cases of all retail and MSME term loan products extended by all regulated entities (REs)," the statement said.

The RBI instructions are issued under sections 21, 35A and 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, sections 45JA, 45L and 45M of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, and sections 30A and 32 of the National Housing Bank Act, 1987.

What are key facts?

As per RBI rules, Key Facts of a loan agreement between an RE/a group of REs and a borrower are legally significant and deterministic facts that satisfy basic information required to assist the borrower in taking an informed financial decision.

Key Facts Statement (KFS) is a statement of key facts of a loan agreement, in simple and easier to understand language, provided to the borrower in a standardised format.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the annual cost of credit to the borrower which includes interest rate and all other charges associated with the credit facility.

Equated Periodic Instalment (EPI) is an equated or fixed amount of repayments, consisting of both the principal and interest components, to be paid by a borrower towards repayment of a loan at periodic intervals for a fixed number of such intervals; and which result in complete amortisation of the loan. EPIs at monthly intervals are called EMIs.

Explanation

Validity period refers to the period available to the borrower, after being provided the KFS by the RE, to agree to the terms of the loan. The RE shall be bound by the terms of the loan indicated in the KFS, if agreed to by the borrower during the validity period.

The KFS shall also include a computation sheet of annual percentage rate (APR), and the amortisation schedule of the loan over the loan tenor. APR will include all charges which are levied by the RE. Illustrative examples of calculation of APR and disclosure of repayment schedule for a hypothetical loan are given in Annex B and C respectively.

Charges recovered from the borrowers by the REs on behalf of third-party service providers on actual basis, such as insurance charges, legal charges etc., shall also form part of the APR and shall be disclosed separately. In all cases wherever the RE is involved in recovering such charges, the receipts and related documents shall be provided to the borrower for each payment, within a reasonable time.

Any fees, charges, etc. which are not mentioned in the KFS, cannot be charged by the REs to the borrower at any stage during the term of the loan, without explicit consent of the borrower.

The KFS shall also be included as a summary box to be exhibited as part of the loan agreement.

Exemptions

Credit card receivables are exempted from the provisions contained under this circular.

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