Types of NBFCs in India

NBFCs (Non-Banking Finance Companies) are the most preferred choice of borrowers for their flexibility in eligibility and in other terms and conditions. Discover the various types of NBFCs in India and the diverse roles they play in the financial ecosystem.
Types of NBFCs in India
5 min read
21 July 2023

In the ever-expanding financial ecosystem in India, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) play a crucial role in providing diverse financial services to different segments of the population. NBFCs have witnessed remarkable growth and significance in recent years. They engage in financial services in a variety of ways, such as accepting deposits, providing secured and unsecured loans, leasing, hiring purchases, and more.

What is NBFC?

While we know that NBFC stands for Non-Banking Financial Company, let’s understand in a little more detail what an NBFC is.

NBFC is an institution that provides financial services similar to traditional banks but does not hold a banking license. NBFCs are an important part of the financial ecosystem, especially in countries like India, where they play a crucial role in bridging the credit gap and promoting financial inclusion. In India, NBFCs are regulated and supervised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the provisions of the RBI Act, of 1934.

Everything about NBFCs in India

Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in India are financial institutions that provide banking services without meeting the legal definition of a bank. They offer various financial products, such as loans, credit facilities, and investment services. NBFCs play a crucial role in extending financial inclusion by reaching underserved segments. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulates and supervises an NBFC company, imposing prudential norms to ensure their stability. They contribute significantly to the Indian financial landscape, fostering economic growth and supporting diverse financial needs.

How does an NBFC company work?

Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) operate by raising funds through deposits, loans, or other financial instruments, excluding traditional demand deposits. NBFC companies in India lend to individuals, businesses, or other entities, often focusing on specific sectors or niches. NBFCs earn revenue through interest on loans, fees, and other financial services. Regulatory compliance, risk management, and maintaining liquidity are essential aspects of their operations. NBFCs play a vital role in complementing traditional banking services, catering to a diverse range of financial needs.

What are the types of NBFCs in India?

Listed below are a few types of NBFCs in India and their respective contributions to the nation's financial landscape.

1. Asset Finance Companies (AFCs)

Asset Finance Companies, as the name suggests, primarily engage in financing assets such as machinery, vehicles, equipment, and other tangible assets. AFCs cater to individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and corporates by offering customised financing solutions for the acquisition of essential assets. By providing loans and lease options, AFCs help businesses expand their operations while also promoting economic growth.

2. Loan companies

Loan Companies are significant players in the consumer finance sector, offering personal loans, home loans, education loans, and more. Additionally, they extend credit facilities to businesses in the form of working capital loans, trade finance, and project financing. Loan companies fill the gap left by traditional banks by serving customers with specific financial needs or limited access to formal credit channels.

3. Infrastructure Finance Companies (IFCs)

With the objective of funding infrastructure projects, IFCs play a crucial role in supporting the nation's infrastructural development. IFCs primarily finance projects in sectors like power, roads, telecommunications, and transportation. By providing long-term loans and project-specific funding, IFCs contribute to the creation of robust infrastructure, enabling economic progress and enhancing the overall quality of life.

4. Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

Microfinance Institutions have emerged as essential players in financial inclusion, targeting the economically disadvantaged sections of society. MFIs provide small loans, also known as microloans to low-income individuals and self-help groups (SHGs). By extending credit to micro-entrepreneurs and marginalised communities, MFIs empower them to establish or expand small businesses, lifting them out of poverty and fostering sustainable livelihoods.

5. Investment companies

Investment companies are predominantly engaged in the acquisition and management of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and securities. These NBFCs cater to both retail and institutional investors, facilitating investment opportunities across various asset classes. Through their expertise in financial markets, Investment companies contribute to capital formation, mobilising funds for productive use and encouraging responsible investing practices.

6. Systemically Important Core Investment Companies (CICs-SI)

Systemically Important Core Investment Companies (CIC-SI) are a subset of Investment Companies that play a significant role in the Indian financial system. A CIC-SI is an NBFC that holds at least 90% of its total assets in the form of investments in the equity shares, debt, or other financial assets of its group companies. These entities are systematically important due to their potential to impact the stability of the financial sector. To maintain financial stability, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulates and supervises these companies more closely.

The wide array of NBFCs in India showcases the diversity and depth of the nation's financial sector. Each type of NBFC serves specific financial needs and plays a distinct role in contributing to economic growth. From providing asset financing and personal loans to promoting infrastructure development and empowering marginalized communities, NBFCs have become integral to India's financial ecosystem.

As the Indian economy continues to evolve, NBFCs will remain instrumental in channeling funds to different sectors and fostering innovation in financial services. However, policymakers and regulators need to strike a balance between promoting NBFC growth and ensuring their stability to safeguard the overall financial system. Through effective governance and regulations, India's NBFC sector can continue to thrive, catalysing economic progress.

Additional read: Bank or NBFC: Which is Better To Choose


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