India's largest bank by asset, State Bank of India (SBI) accounts for 27 percent of the total outstanding loans run up by wilful defaulters.
Of the total number of the wilful defaulters, as many as 1,762 owed State Bank of India a staggering amount of Rs 25,104 crore putting stress on the bank's balance sheet as of March 31, 2017.
Punjab National Bank (PNB) is number two on the list with 1,120 wilful defaulters with outstanding loans to the tune of Rs 12,278 crore. The two banks account for as much as 40 percent of the total bad loans.
The finance ministry data revealed wilful defaulters owe public sector banks Rs 92,376 crore. The total amount of outstanding loans by wilful defaulters rose 20.4% to Rs 92,376 crore at the end of the financial year 2016-17, from Rs 76,685 crore at the end of last fiscal 2015-16, PTI reported on Sunday.
There has been a 10 percent increase in the number of wilful defaulters to 8,915 at the end of March 2016 as against 8,167 in the previous fiscal.
Of the total 8,915 cases, banks have filed FIRs in 1,914 cases, reported the news agency.
During the financial year 2016-17, 27 public sector lenders, including SBI and its five associates, had written off loans worth Rs 81,683 crore-- 41 percent higher than the previous fiscal and highest in five years.
Despite a series of steps taken by the government to contain non-performing assets (NPAs), the banks are unable to tackle the stress asset problem. Gross NPAs of PSBs rose to Rs 6.41 lakh crore at the end of the financial year 2017 as against Rs 5.02 lakh crore year ago.
As per earlier guidelines, a bank couldn't label a non-whole-time director of a company as a wilful defaulter unless there is conclusive evidence that the individual was aware of the wilful default by the company and had not objected to it, the agency reported.