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  • Writer's pictureAbhijit Shankaran

What is Direct Assignment (DA)?

Direct Assignment (DA) is a type of asset-backed securities (ABS) transaction. ABS are financial instruments similar to bonds, and contracts that represent a claim on cash flows from a pool of underlying assets. In the context of the lending business of the Banking industry, the ABS transaction that Direct Assignment functions upon is loan assets.

How does Direct Assignment Work in India?

The DA Business can be best understood by factoring in 3 main Stakeholders/Players

A bank and NBFC representatives in suits, striking a direct assignment deal for a bank loan.


Originators typically NBFCs and Banks sell their loans or receivables to buyers, becoming co-lenders. The credit risk is now shouldered by the Originator and Co-Lender in proportion to the shares. The original owners or originators continue to service the loan on behalf of the Investors. The originator retains the right to manage the loans, collections and payments from borrowers and forward them to the investor. In doing so, originators gain by converting their illiquid loan asset products into cash or liquidity that empowers them to manage their operations, meet short-term obligations and also expand their business strategically. Originators are also paid maintenance fees by the investors for managing loan servicing activities on their behalf.


Investors/Buyers are typically banks that benefit from purchasing these loan assets because it empowers them to not only grow/expand in Scale but also to meet their Priority Sector Obligations (PSL) requirements.

Taking Priority Sector Obligations as an example, PSL obligations guidelines are set by the RBI as lending targets for banks to fulfil as part of the initiatives taken for the Socio-economic development of the country. Banks purchase priority sector loans and thereby not only meet their lending targets but also benefit from mitigating risks and diversifying portfolios.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

The RBI plays a vital role in regulating DA activities by setting strict guidelines and practices for efficient, ethical and legal conduct of business. At its core, below are some of the major requirements (not limited to), that are to be followed.

  • MRR or Minimum Retention Requirement specify that Originators must retain a minimum portion of loans or in other words a stake in securitized assets to ensure they can carry out due diligence of loans to be securitized

  • True Sale Criteria is a set of criteria in place for the originators to sell their loan portfolio to Investors in a manner that when met implies that the sale is genuine. In other words, the investor is well-informed by the originator of all associated risks and rewards.

  • Reporting and Disclosure Requirements include finer details such as the nature of assets, and deal terms that are provided to the Investors showcasing proof of compliance with RBI guidelines and proving transparency.

  • Prudential Norms are guidelines set by the RBI for Risk Management, capital adequacy and other financial parameters to ensure smooth conduct of the DA business.

Challenges with the Direct Assignment Business

At its core, challenges arise from manual processes used in loan management and the synchronization with originator systems for maintaining accurate information. While the former is an operational challenge the latter is an accounting & Transparency challenge.

Below, is an expansion of the same

  • Multiple formats from Originators

  • Dynamic Credit Policy

  • Compliance with Statutory Regulations

  • Due Diligence Process

  • MIS Reporting and Reconciliation

  • Auditable Processes

SIMSMART To Manage Direct Assignment Deals

SIMSMART is a fully automated system for tracking and managing the whole lifecycle of direct assignment negotiations from a buyer's or Investor's perspective. This solution ensures that Assignee's resources are used efficiently while also meeting statutory requirements.

SIMSMART provides a comprehensive solution to improve the efficiency of Direct Assignment loan management by addressing the challenges above. It supports standardized data formats, ensures seamless integration with multiple Originators, and eliminates manual data conversion errors. Through automated policy enforcement, the system enables dynamic credit policy management and adaptability to changing market conditions. SIMSMART ensures compliance with statutory regulations by providing a transparent audit trail that tracks all loan management activities for auditors. It automates task allocation, work status tracking, and report generation, reducing manual efforts and simplifying the due diligence process. The system also excels at providing automatic comprehensive MIS reports, expediting monthly pay-in data reconciliation, and simplifying accounting entry procedures, leading to time savings and lower mistake probability. SIMSMART also provides extensive auditing capabilities, ensuring that all processes are auditable and giving a clear activity trail for both internal and external audits.


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