India’s banking sector, which has become a global financial juggernaut, is at risk of collapsing under pressure from soaring inflation and dwindling demand, a new report by a leading financial advisory firm warns.
India’s biggest banks account for about one-third of the country’s banking assets and their share of the market is growing faster than the broader economy.
With inflation at a record-high of 9.5%, many banks are increasingly seeing signs of stress, and are scrambling to cope.
The Financial Services Research Institute, a division of Standard Chartered, said the Indian banking sector could collapse as early as 2018.
“While India is in the midst of a banking crisis, it is also witnessing a significant growth in the number of financial institutions in India,” the report says.
The report comes amid a crackdown by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on financial crime, as he seeks to push his own political agenda.
In September, the country tightened rules to curb money laundering and tax evasion.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also announced a series of measures to fight financial crime and curb corruption, including new laws to curb insider trading and asset stripping.
But the RBI’s efforts have not stemmed the tide of corruption in the sector, leaving some banks in a financial crisis.
A report last month by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the World Bank found that the Indian economy was facing a $1.2 trillion risk to its banking system, the highest risk level.
It said this risk is mainly due to a lack of regulation, weak enforcement of the rules and lack of transparency and accountability, which are often undermined by the political influence of the banking sector.
India is the world’s third-largest financial hub, and the country has more than $50 trillion of banking assets.
Many of these assets are held by the countrys largest banks.
The financial sector is also growing fast.
“The number of large financial institutions is growing at a faster pace than the overall economy.
This means that in order to manage the risks, there is a need for a comprehensive regulatory framework,” said Prabhu Kumar, director of PwC India’s Centre for Financial Stability, in a statement.
The RBS, one of the largest financial institutions, is among the biggest beneficiaries of this growth, accounting for over 40% of its assets, the report said.
The RBI is in charge of regulating the financial system, and in recent years has introduced strict capital controls to curb the rise of corruption.
But it has also increased regulations on foreign exchange, which is seen as another threat to the country.
The new report comes as the country is facing its worst economic crisis since the 2008 financial crisis, when the rupee plunged by over 90% against the dollar and forced the government to impose severe capital controls and a range of measures.
It is also the first time since 2008 that the country will face an economic crisis of such magnitude.
Inflation in the country soared from 3.9% in 2015 to more than 7% in March, according to the Central Statistics Office.
In April, the central bank announced that it would introduce a new set of capital controls for financial institutions.
While many of the measures announced are aimed at protecting the public from the effects of the crisis, the RBI is increasingly relying on its political allies to get its agenda through.
The central bank’s decision to introduce capital controls on foreign banks comes as Indian Prime Modi has been making a push to consolidate his government and increase his mandate by appealing to voters ahead of a crucial election scheduled for 2019.
India has seen a sharp rise in political violence in recent months, with a number of incidents, including a deadly attack on an Indian Air Force base in the southern state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The attack left five people dead and another 20 wounded.
The latest attacks on banks are a continuation of the government’s push to boost the political clout of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Modi has vowed to “cleanse” the country of corrupt leaders and corrupt practices.
He has also been accused of corruption by former Chief Justice of India K.S. Radhakrishnan, who was removed from the bench last month.