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Nonperforming Asset


A nonperforming asset refers to loans or advances that are in jeopardy of default. This occurs when the borrower has not met their stated principal and interest payments for 90 days or more. Nonperforming assets are thus expected to bring fewer returns than the initial investment, often resulting in lost revenue.


The phonetics for the keyword “Nonperforming Asset” is: “nɑn-pərˈfɔr-mɪŋ ˈæsɛt”.

Key Takeaways

Sure, here are three main takeaways about Nonperforming Asset.“`html

  1. Non-Performing Asset (NPA) is essentially a credit facility in which the interest and/or installment of principal remain overdue for a certain period of time. In other words, bank’s asset that has ceased to generate income for the bank is called Non-Performing Asset.
  2. NPAs are problematic for financial institutions since they depend on interest payments for income. Troublesome recovery processes, as well as slowed GDP growth, contribute to the difficulty financial institutions may confront when attempting to recoup NPA loan money.
  3. The higher the proportion of NPAs to total loans (NPA ratio), the weaker the financial health of the bank or financial institution. High NPA ratios can affect the profitability and solvency levels of banks, and also trigger higher costs of capital and reduced confidence among depositors, creditors and investors.



A nonperforming asset is significant in the business/finance field as it directly affects the profitability, liquidity, and creditworthiness of a financial institution. These are assets that cease to generate income for the lender due to defaults or arrears. High levels of nonperforming assets indicate a lower return for the bank or financial institution because interest income is hindered and debt recovery costs get higher. It signifies weak asset quality and potential losses, thus can deter investors due to an institution’s financial instability. Therefore, keeping track of and managing nonperforming assets is fundamental in maintaining the soundness of a financial institution’s portfolio, ensuring a healthy profit margin, and promoting confidence among investors.


Nonperforming assets (NPAs) primarily serve as indicators of the credit risk associated with a financial institution such as a bank. The nonperforming tag is essentially given to a loan or an advance where the principal or the interest remains overdue for a certain period of time. Therefore, they serve as valuable tools for evaluating the financial health of the lending institution, helping stakeholders make informed decisions. In addition, a high level of NPAs suggests a higher likelihood of a large number of credit defaults, damaging the financial position of the bank.Moreover, nonperforming assets can be used by governing bodies like central banks to implement strategic adjustments where necessary, so as to control and improve the economic environment. If the accumulation of NPAs becomes a trend within a certain sector, it could indicate systemic issues within that sector which may need governmental or policy intervention. Therefore, NPAs not only serve as a review tool for banks but can also serve as signals for the macroeconomic health of an economy or industry.


1. Residential Mortgages: If a homeowner is unable to make payments on their mortgage for an extended period of time (usually 90 days or more), the bank or lending institution can classify the loan as a nonperforming asset. This means that the loan is not bringing in proposed interest income and there’s a risk of principal loss.2. Business Loans: A small business which took out a loan from a bank but has failed to make payments for 90 days or more becomes a nonperforming asset for the bank. The bank may have to write off the loan as a loss if the business declares bankruptcy or is unable to find a way to start making payments again.3. Credit Card Debts: For credit card companies, if a customer stops making payments on their credit card balance, after a certain period of time (generally after 180 days of non-payment) the credit card account will be referred to as a non-performing asset. This essentially means the company is no longer receiving payments or interest on the balance owed, it could lead to a significant financial impact for the company.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Nonperforming Asset?

Non-performing Asset (NPA) is a loan or an advance where the interest payment or the principal amount is not paid for a certain period, typically 90 days or more.

What are the types of Nonperforming Assets?

Nonperforming assets can be categorized into three types: substandard assets, doubtful assets, and loss assets.

How does a Nonperforming Asset affect the banks?

High levels of NPAs indicate that large number of loans require interest payments, thereby affecting the profit margin and net worth of the bank.

How can a financial institution reduce its Nonperforming Assets?

Some strategies include proper loan underwriting and appropriate credit risk management. Institutions might also sell off these assets to special companies formed for buying such assets, known as Asset Reconstruction Companies.

Can Nonperforming Assets be beneficial for investors?

At times, investors buy NPAs at a lower price and try to recover the debt themselves, therefore generating profits.

What are the reasons for the increase in Nonperforming Assets?

Factors include irresponsible lending practices, economic downturn, changes in government regulation, or a company’s mismanagement.

How does a high level of Nonperforming Assets affect the economy?

Rise in NPAs can slow down the flow of money in the economy due to decreased lending ability of banks, potentially leading to an economic slowdown.

What are the measures taken by banks to prevent the increase of Nonperforming Assets?

Measures can include stringent credit appraisal procedure, regular follow up on the repayment of loans, and implementing prompt legal actions against defaulters.

How are Nonperforming Assets recognized?

A bank or lender determines an asset to be non-performing when the borrower fails to make the scheduled payments for a certain period, typically 90 days.

: Is it possible to convert Nonperforming Assets into performing ones?

Yes. This process is known as restructuring or rescheduling of loans. The terms of the loan are modified, giving the borrower a chance to become current on their obligations.

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