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  • Writer's pictureDishant Iyer

What is Co-lending and how does it work?

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

Co-lending is a relatively new concept in the world of finance that is gaining popularity among banks and NBFCs alike. In this blog, we will explore what co-lending is, how it works, its benefits and challenges.


What is Co-Lending?



Co-lending between banks and NBFCs
Co-lending

Co-lending, also known as loan syndication, is a financing arrangement in which multiple lenders jointly provide a loan to a borrower. The lenders collaborate to provide a single loan to the borrower, sharing the risk and profits associated with the loan. In India, it builds up on the Securitization and Direct Assignment, where a homogenous pool of assets get bought by the buyer while the originator or seller of the portfolio holds on to a small portion of the portfolio.

Co-lending is typically used for large loans that exceed the lending capacity of a single lender. By pooling resources, lenders can share the risk associated with the loan, reducing the impact of default by the borrower.

Co-lending can also be used by banks to quickly cover their priority sector lending by tying up with NBFCs. It works as a win-win for both parties as each leverage the other’s strength to jointly service the customer. Banks have large capital which the NBFCs or smaller banks can use and NBFCs and smaller banks provide access to the customer base at remote locations.


How Does Co-Lending Work?


Co-lending works by bringing together multiple lenders to provide a single loan to a borrower. The lenders agree to the terms of the loan, including the loan amount, interest rate, charges and repayment terms. The borrower is usually oblivious to the back-end deal and deals only with the organization he approaches and goes on to receive a single loan from the group of lenders, which s/he repay according to the agreed-upon terms.

The lenders typically form a consortium to facilitate the co-lending arrangement. The consortium may be led by one lender who takes charge of the loan administration and management, while the other lenders provide funding.

Co-lending can be facilitated by a platform that connects lenders. The platform handles the loan administration and management, including loan origination, underwriting, and servicing.


Benefits of Co-Lending


Co-lending offers several benefits to both borrowers and lenders. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Access to larger loans: Co-lending allows borrowers to access larger loans than they would be able to obtain from a single lender.

  2. Diversification of risk: Lenders can spread their risk by collaborating with other lenders to provide a single loan. This reduces the impact of default by the borrower.

  3. Reduced funding costs: Lenders can reduce their funding costs by collaborating with other lenders to provide a single loan. This can lead to lower interest rates for the borrower.

  4. Improved efficiency: Co-lending can be facilitated by a platform that automates the loan administration and management process, improving efficiency and reducing costs.

  5. Increased competition: Co-lending can increase competition among lenders, leading to better loan terms for the borrower.


Challenges in Co-lending


While co-lending offers several benefits, it also presents some challenges for both borrowers and lenders. Some of the challenges are:

  1. Coordination among lenders: Co-lending requires coordination among multiple lenders, which can be challenging. The lenders need to agree on the terms of the loan, including the loan amount, interest rate, and repayment terms. If the lenders have different underwriting standards or risk appetites, it can be challenging to reach a consensus.

  2. Risk management: Co-lending requires lenders to collaborate and share the risk associated with the loan. This can be challenging as the lenders have different risk appetites and may have different views on risk management. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the lenders need to work together to manage the risk and recover their funds.

  3. Regulatory compliance: Co-lending involves multiple lenders, which can make regulatory compliance challenging. The lenders need to comply with various regulations related to lending, including anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) regulations. The lenders also need to comply with the regulations related to co-lending, which vary by jurisdiction.

  4. Loan administration and management: Co-lending involves multiple lenders, which can make loan administration and management challenging. The lenders need to agree on the loan origination process, underwriting standards, and loan servicing. If the lenders are using a platform to facilitate co-lending, they need to agree on the platform's terms of use and data privacy policies.

  5. Communication and trust: Co-lending requires communication and trust among the lenders. The lenders need to communicate effectively to ensure that they are on the same page regarding the loan terms, risk management, and loan servicing. They also need to trust each other to honor their commitments and work together to manage the risk associated with the loan.

  6. Technology limitations: There are very few solutions which can cater to the growing demands of the finance industry. Most solutions cannot even fathom the complexities behind the requirement while others may be good at technology but lack the domain knowledge.


Co-lending with Scolend


Scolend is one-such application which helps financial organizations lend, co-lend and even cater to supply chain finance requirements. Developed by former bankers with immense technological and domain knowledge, Scolend is bound to become one of India’s leading Loan Origination System and Loan Management System. A solution which is designed for the present and for the future, Scolend is built with latest technologies to keep organizations relevant with changing times. Scolend is also equipped with a document manager microservice that helps determine what documents are required by your organization and at what stage in the loan process.


Conclusion


In conclusion, co-lending is a financing arrangement that involves multiple lenders jointly providing a loan to a borrower. It offers several benefits to both borrowers and lenders, including access to larger loans, diversification of risk, reduced funding costs, improved efficiency, and increased competition. As co-lending continues to gain popularity, it is likely to become an increasingly important part of the financial landscape if challenges can be mitigated.

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