Meet the new age loan arranger

Abhishek Anand tracks down those who can crack the code using a mix of networking and bribes

Anyone trusting the loan arranger may find himself in deep trouble
Anyone trusting the loan arranger may find himself in deep trouble
Illustration: Naorem Ashish

THEY ARE suave, glib talkers, well educated and, more importantly, well networked. That’s the typical profile of the ‘loan arranger’ who helps corporates get huge loans even if they do not qualify or do not have the credit worthiness. They do their job to perfection in connivance with bank staff, who in turn help them by either manipulating or skirting the rulebook.
“Big-ticket customers usually outsource their loan requirement through a loan arranger. But the prescribed route is not adhered to because some tweaking is required for every loan that is extended to new or existing customers,” says a banker on condition of anonymity.
On how the system is bypassed, he reveals, “The rules of loan disbursal are always set and differ from bank to bank. This is where the loan arrangers step in. They have the right connections in the credit committee, which decides whether or not the loan would be disbursed.”
The arranger adds, “Once the committee is convinced, disbursal is just a matter of time.”
But is it that easy to pull the wool over the eyes of a credit committee? “Not always. There are dirty fish in every pond. These are the people who, in connivance and for a predetermined commission, help the arranger,” he says.
A brief chat with another such arranger throws light on the modus operandi. “In one case, I helped a banker fund his son’s education abroad. I picked up a tab of nearly 20 lakh and since then there have been very few occasions where I have been denied a loan,” reveals the arranger.
In other cases, loan arrangers help corporates over invoice or under invoice projects or hike up the project cost and the difference is shared among what can be called “beneficiaries”.
So well-connected are the loan arrangers that there are instances where they oen arrange a bridge loan, generally taken for a short period ranging between a few weeks to a couple of years. They are meant for an interim period till the arrangers manage to find long-term finance.
The loan arrangers are a shrewd lot. Generally, they have multiple bank accounts and transact mainly in cash. At times, they use bank accounts of their relatives or friends.
Needless to say, anyone trusting the loan arranger may find themselves in deep trouble. If the investigating agency smells shadowy deals, the relative or friend who received dubious funds will stumble into the line of fire.