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Statutory Liquidity Ratio- Learm the Calculation, Rate, Limit & the Current SLR in India

Statutory Liquidity Ratio- Learm the Calculation, Rate, Limit & the Current SLR in India
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The world of finance and banking operates under a complex framework of regulations and requirements aimed at maintaining stability and safeguarding the interests of stakeholders. One such crucial aspect is the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR). It’s a key policy tool implemented by central banks to ensure the soundness of the banking system.

In this blog, we will talk about the concept of SLR and its significance in maintaining financial stability. Moreover, we will also explore the purpose of the Statutory Liquidity Ratio, its operation, and the role it plays in promoting liquidity, managing risks, and fostering a resilient banking sector.

What is SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio)?

The Statutory Liquidity Ratio refers to the percentage of a bank’s net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) that it must maintain in the form of specified liquid assets. The primary purpose of SLR is to ensure the liquidity and solvency of banks. Thereby SLR promotes the stability of the financial system. It acts as a safeguard for depositors and helps banks maintain a sufficient reserve of liquid assets to meet their obligations.

How does Statutory Liquidity Ratio work?

Banks are required to set aside a certain portion of their NDTL as specified liquid assets. These assets include cash, gold, or approved securities such as government bonds. By maintaining a prescribed level of the Statutory Liquidity Ratio, banks ensure that they have readily available resources to meet any unexpected liquidity demands or fulfil withdrawal requests from depositors.

Importance of the Statutory Liquidity Ratio in Maintaining Financial Stability

The Statutory Liquidity Ratio plays a crucial role in maintaining the overall financial stability of an economy. It acts as a risk mitigation measure by ensuring that banks have a cushion of liquid assets to absorb financial shocks. By mandating banks to hold a portion of their liabilities in the form of liquid assets, SLR reduces the risk of bank failures and enhances the confidence of depositors in the banking system.

Moreover, the Statutory Liquidity Ratio also enables the central bank to control credit expansion and inflation. By adjusting the SLR requirement, the central bank can influence the liquidity available in the banking system. Higher SLR requirements restrict the lending capacity of banks, which helps in curbing excessive credit growth and controlling inflationary pressures.

Understanding the Components of Statutory Liquidity Ratio

The components of Statutory Liquidity Ratio include:

  • Liquid Assets: Banks are required to maintain a certain portion of their NDTL in the form of liquid assets, such as cash, gold, or government securities.
  • Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL): NDTL represents the total demand and time deposits of a bank’s customers, excluding certain liabilities. SLR is calculated based on this NDTL amount.
  • SLR Limit: The Statutory Liquidity Ratio limit is the minimum percentage of NDTL that banks must maintain as liquid assets. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set the maximum threshold for Statutory Liquidity Ratio at 40%.

Calculation of the Statutory Liquidity Ratio Ratio

The SLR ratio is the percentage of a bank’s net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) that it must maintain in the form of eligible assets. It is calculated by dividing the total value of eligible assets held by the bank by its NDTL and multiplying the result by 100.

SLR = (Liquid Assets / Net Demand and Time Liabilities) * 100%
SLR Formula

For example, if a bank’s NDTL is ₹1,000 crore and it needs to maintain an SLR ratio of 20%, it must hold eligible assets worth ₹200 crore (20% of ₹1,000 crore).

It’s important to note that the SLR ratio is set by the RBI and can vary over time based on monetary policy and economic conditions. Banks must regularly monitor their Statutory Liquidity Ratio position to ensure compliance with the prescribed ratio.

Note: As of 24th May 2022, the current SLR rate is 18%.

What is the Role of Statutory Liquidity Ratio?

The Statutory Liquidity Ratio plays a crucial role in the functioning of banks and the overall financial system. Let’s explore its key roles:

A. Ensuring Liquidity and Solvency of Banks

Imagine you deposit your hard-earned money in a bank. You want to be sure that the bank has enough resources to give you back your money whenever you need it, right? That’s where the SLR steps in. It requires banks to hold a certain percentage of their deposits in liquid assets like government securities. By doing so, the Statutory Liquidity Ratio ensures that banks have enough liquidity to meet the demands of depositors and remain solvent.

B. Controlling Credit Expansion and Inflation

Sometimes, too much credit flowing into the economy can lead to inflation and financial instability. The SLR rate acts as a control mechanism here. By mandating banks to maintain a portion of their deposits in liquid assets, it limits their ability to lend excessively. This helps in controlling credit expansion, maintaining a stable economy, and keeping inflation in check. So, in this way, the Statutory Liquidity Ratio acts as a tool to promote sustainable lending practices.

C. Safeguarding the Interests of Depositors and Promoting Financial Stability

One of the primary objectives of the Statutory Liquidity Ratio is to protect the interests of depositors. By ensuring that banks hold a portion of their deposits in secure and liquid assets, the SLR reduces the risk of default and enhances the safety of deposits. Additionally, by promoting financial stability, the SLR contributes to the overall health of the financial system, instilling confidence in depositors, investors, and stakeholders.

Regulatory Framework and Guidelines for Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)

When it comes to the Statutory Liquidity Ratio, there are certain regulatory frameworks and guidelines in place to make sure everything runs smoothly. Let’s talk about them in detail:

A. Role of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in SLR

So, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is like the big boss here. They have a crucial role in managing the SLR rate. Being the central bank of the country, the RBI sets the SLR percentage that banks need to maintain. They keep a close eye on the economic conditions and monetary policy goals to adjust the SLR from time to time. They also give instructions to banks on how to meet the SLR requirements.

B. SLR Requirements for Different Categories of Banks:

Now, not all banks are the same, right? So, the Statutory Liquidity Ratio requirements can vary based on the type of bank. Commercial banks, cooperative banks, and other financial institutions have specific guidelines to follow. These guidelines ensure that banks keep a certain proportion of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) in liquid assets like government securities. This helps maintain stability in the banking system and supports monetary policy goals.

C. Monitoring and Enforcement of SLR compliance:

The RBI is quite serious about keeping an eye on the SLR compliance. They regularly check in on banks to make sure they are meeting the SLR requirements. Banks have to report their SLR holdings to the RBI on a regular basis. If a bank fails to meet the SLR requirements, well, there can be penalties and regulatory actions. The RBI wants to ensure that everything is in line and the banks are playing by the rules.

Implications and Effects of Statutory Liquidity Ratio

The SLR has some interesting implications and effects on different aspects of the banking system and the overall financial landscape. Let’s dive into them:

A. Impact on SLR in Banking Operations and Lending Activities

When it comes to banks, the Statutory Liquidity Ratio requirement affects how much money they can lend. Banks are mandated to keep a certain portion of their funds in specified liquid assets like government securities. This means they have less money available for lending. Which can influence the availability of loans and the interest rates charged to borrowers.

B. Impact on Investors

The SLR also has an impact on the investment choices of banks. Since they need to allocate a portion of their funds to meet the SLR, it influences their investment decisions. This, in turn, can have consequences for investors who might see changes in the availability of funds for other investment options and the potential returns they can expect.

C. Influence on Interest Rates and Monetary Policy

Changes in the Statutory Liquidity Ratio can have a direct influence on the liquidity in the banking system. When the SLR is increased, it means banks have to allocate more funds to meet the requirement. This reduces the amount of money available for lending. This can lead to higher borrowing costs and interest rates for businesses and individuals. Conversely, a decrease in the SLR can boost liquidity, potentially lowering interest rates and stimulating economic activity.

D. Role in Maintaining Overall Financial System Stability

The SLR serves as a safeguard to ensure the stability of the financial system. By mandating banks to hold a portion of their liabilities in liquid assets, it creates a cushion against unforeseen liquidity needs. This helps protect the solvency and stability of banks, particularly during challenging economic times. Additionally, the SLR promotes better risk management practices within banks, which contributes to the overall resilience of the financial system.

What are the Consequences of Not Maintaining the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)?

Not maintaining the SLR in banking sector can have serious consequences. Here are a few things that can happen if a bank fails to maintain the required SLR:

  • Penalties: Banks may face penalties imposed by regulatory authorities. These penalties can range from fines to additional restrictions or even suspension of certain banking activities. 
  • Limited Lending Capacity: When a bank doesn’t meet the SLR, it has less money available for lending. This means they can’t fulfil the credit needs of borrowers, which can impact their profitability. 
  • Reputation Damage: Failing to maintain the SLR rate can damage a bank’s reputation. People start questioning the bank’s financial stability and ability to manage risks. This can lead to a loss of trust from customers and investors, which is never good for business.
  • Regulatory Scrutiny: Non-compliance with the SLR attracts more attention from regulators. They might dig deeper into the bank’s operations, conducting inspections, audits, and investigations. 
  • Liquidity Risks: Not meeting the SLR exposes the bank to liquidity risks. Liquid assets held under the SLR act as a safety net for unexpected liquidity needs. Without enough liquid assets, the bank may struggle to meet depositor withdrawals or other payment obligations. 

Difference between Cash Reserve Ratio and Statutory Liquidity Ratio – CRR vs SLR

Here is a table of differences between CRR and SLR rate

CRRSLR
The CRR full form is Cash Reserve Ratio.The SLR full form is Statutory Liquidity Ratio.
CRR is a percentage of deposits.SLR is a percentage of net demand and time liabilities.
It is maintained in cash with the central bank.It is maintained in liquid assets like cash, gold, and government securities.
It is a tool to control liquidity in the economy.It is a tool to ensure the solvency and liquidity of banks.
CRR directly impacts the available funds for lending.Statutory Liquidity Ratio indirectly affects the funds available for lending.
Non-compliance with CRR leads to a penalty.Non-compliance with SLR leads to penalties and restrictions.
Currently, CRR is set at a fixed rate by the central bankCurrently, SLR is set as a ratio of net demand and time liabilities
Difference between CRR and SLR

To Sum It Up

The Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) is a vital regulatory requirement that contributes to the stability and resilience of the banking system. 

It plays a crucial role in safeguarding the interests of depositors and promoting financial stability. Not only this but, it also enhances the liquidity and solvency of banks and allows the central bank to control credit expansion and inflation. 

All in all, Statutory Liquidity Ratio is an integral part of the regulatory framework. It ensures the sound functioning of the banking system, supports economic stability, and contributes to the overall financial well-being of the country.

FAQs

1. What is the Statutory Liquidity Ratio of RBI?

The Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) is a mandatory requirement imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on banks in India. It mandates that banks must maintain a certain percentage of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) in the form of approved government securities, cash, and gold.

2. Who decides SLR?

The SLR is determined and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which is the central banking institution in India.

3. What happens if SLR increases?

When the Statutory Liquidity Ratio is increased, banks are required to hold a higher proportion of their NDTL in approved securities, cash, and gold. This reduces the funds available for lending and can potentially impact credit availability in the economy.

4. What is the current SLR rate?

As of 24 May 2022, the current SLR rate is 18%.

5. Which institutions are asked to maintain Statutory Liquidity Ratio?

All scheduled commercial banks (public sector banks, private sector banks, foreign banks, and regional rural banks), cooperative banks, and development financial institutions in India are required to maintain the SLR.

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