RBI: Existing NBFC cannot operate as peer-to-peer lender

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notified that existing non-banking financial companies cannot operate as peer-to-peer lenders. Further, new applicants for peer-to-peer lending license will need to provide the list of promoters and the source of funds for the minimum capital requirement of Rs20mn, the regulator said.
The minimum capital need to be infused before the certificate of registration is issued, the regulator clarified.
The clarification was issued in a notice, detailing frequently asked questions regard to the peer-to-peer lending guidelines. "No change in promoters will be allowed in the interregnum," the regulator informed.
RBI further clarified that electronic platforms that assist only banks, non-banking financial companies and other regulated financial institutions to identify borrowers for lending will not be classified as peer-to-peer lending platforms. Only electronic platforms that also cater to retail lenders can register separately as such platforms, the central bank said.
The leverage ratio for such entities will be computed using only liabilities on the balance sheet and not by liabilities originating from funds of customer using the platform, the regulator said.
It further said that funds of customers lying in escrow accounts also cannot be considered as investible funds of the entity. In turn, investible funds will be restricted to the capital infused and the surplus generated from the business activity.