The banking sector reforms undertaken in India from 1992 onwards were basically aimed at ensuring the safety and soundness of financial institutions and at the same time at making the banking system strong, efficient, functionally diverse and competitive. The reforms included measures for arresting the decline in productivity, efficiency and profitability of the banking sector. Furthermore, it was recognized that the Indian banking system should be in tune with international standards of capital adequacy, prudential regulations, and accounting and disclosure standards. Financial soundness and consistent supervisory practices, as evident in our level of compliance with the Basel Committee's Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision, have made our banking system resilient to global shocks.
India has not faced any major economic/financial crises, though in 1990-91, there was some pressure on the external sector with the current account deficit and external debt servicing reaching large proportions. However, due to prudent macroeconomic policies, it was possible to return the country to a sustainable growth path. As well as the long history of regulation and supervision, Indian banks have limited exposure to sensitive sectors such as real estate, equity, etc, strict control over off-balance sheet activities, larger holdings of government bonds (which helps limit credit risk), relatively well-diversified credit portfolios, statutory restrictions on connected lending, adequate control over currency and maturity mismatches, etc, which has insulated them from the adverse impact of financial crisis and contagion. Banks in India have played a significant role in the development of the Indian economy.
However, with the structural reforms initiated in the real economy from the early 1990s, it was imperative that a vibrant and competitive financial system should be put in place to sustain the ongoing process of reforms in the real …

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