Delinquent accounts for fintech non-banking financial companies in India nearly doubled in the year up to August 2020 as riskier lending compared to banks hurt during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nearly 43% of personal loan accounts were in the overdue buckets for fintech NBFCs compared to 22% such accounts in August 2019, according to a research report titled ‘Fintech Collections, Trends and Strategies’, released on Thursday by credit bureau Transunion CIBIL and Digital Lenders Association of India.
Soon after the Covid crisis hit, the Reserve Bank of India permitted all lenders to offer borrowers a moratorium on payments. This lasted from March to August. As such, a jump in the share of overdue loans may reflect borrowers who had chosen to avail the moratorium. Just like in the case of banks, all these loans may not have remained overdue after the moratorium ended.
The report, however, attributed the increase in overdue loans for fintech firms to a riskier consumer base.
More than half of the personal loans originated by fintech firms in August were from below prime-risk tier customers (with credit scores of 730 or below), compared to 38% such customers for NBFCs, 25% for public sector banks and 19% for private sector lenders, according to the report.
“Banks have generally been lending to consumers in prime and above risk tiers, and those with a relatively stable flow of income, and leveraging their liability base to acquire personal loans. At the same time, fintechs have onboarded consumers with low credit scores and leveraged more alternative data,” it said.