Are Company Fixed Deposit Safe ?

Today we will talk about Company Fixed Deposits. There are many investors who are very much impressed by the Corporate fixed deposits and feel like they are as good as Bank Fixed deposits, but one has to understand that if company deposits offer higher interest rates, It is bound to be more riskier than normal Fixed Deposits offered by Banks. Most of the investors think that Company fixed deposits are safe just because the company which is offering these Deposits are very famous one’s and very big in Size. But that is not true ! .  How to Find cheapest Fixed Deposit in India

What are Corporate Fixed Deposits

Corporate fixed deposits are normal fixed deposits offered by Companies. The interest rates  offered are generally higher than Bank interest rates and can be in range from 9%-16% . Higher the interest rates offered higher are the risks involved. Why do companies have these deposits? when companies have cash crunch and require money, they can offer deposits at attractive rate of interest to common public, one of the reasons for this can be that they do not want to raise the additional capital by issuing shares.  Corporate Deposits are governed as per Section 58A of Companies Act, however these are “unsecured” loans (we will talk about it) .

Risks with Company Fixed Deposits

There are two main risks associated with Company Deposits , they are :

A) Default Risk : These Company deposits carry a risk called Default Risk, which means, at maturity they might not be able to return your maturity amount and default in the payment. It can happen that company is out of cash at that time or does not have sufficient money in their hand to pay back , this can happen for many reasons like their business might not be going good that time or because of recession .

MUMBAI, MAY 19: The beleaguered CRB Capital Markets has failed to submit its plan for settlement of Rs 180-crore liabilities to fixed-deposit holders. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is now free to move court seeking the winding up of the non-banking finance company (NBFC).

Prudential Capital Markets Ltd., based in Calcutta was one of the biggest and successful NBFCs. But their reputation came under a lot of flak the moment they began to default in the payment of interests and the matured amounts. When flustered investors started queuing up to withdraw funds invested in Prudential, the company managed to stave
them off by stating that it would repay 40% of the funds within a year and the remainder a year later. In some cases the cheques were issued but if they thought they were lucky, they were in for a shock for their cheques bounced.

B) Unsecured Deposits : Bank Deposits are secured by RBI up to 1 lacs rupees per branch, which means that if bank does not return you the money or goes bankrupt, RBI will pay you up to 1 lacs of deposits. There is no such Insurance on Company Deposits, hence they are totally unsecured . Link

Update from Rakesh : We have very bad experience with Midwest Iron & Steel company. My parents had invested in this company in mid 90’s and the company was defaulted in 1997. SEBI had included it in its list of vanishing companies. Its been over 13 years we have still not received any money nor do we know any status of it. I had written to SEBI but not update yet.

Caution Points

Premature Exit from Company FD’s are not that simple like Bank FD’s. You might have to run from one place to another and send loads of letters and some times even give reasons for Premature Withdrawals .

One such investor, Vidyadhar Radhakrishna Lad, a senior citizen and shareholder of the company, had subscribed for the fixed deposit scheme of Jaiprakash Associates by investing Rs 1 lakh. Despite writing to the company and running from pillar to post for two months, Mr Lad has still not received his fixed deposit receipt (FDR). Link

Make sure you also consider the credit ratings given by CRISIL and ICRA for that FD .  (Understand CRISIL Ratings and ICRA Ratings)

Refer to the article below to read about Panjon Pharma Fraud in Fixed Deposits (Credit : Hemant Beniwal)

Fixed Depoits fraud from Panjon Pharma .

Should you invest in Corporate Fixed Deposits

There is nothing good or bad , some companies which offer Fixed Deposits are very established and are highly reputed, however you can’t take it at face value and ignore the risks involved. If you want to park money for short-term and are comfortable with the risks which come with corporate fixed deposits, these Corporate fixed deposits can be a good products for you. The point here is awareness. It’s not recommended that you put a big sum in same company. If you want to invest 2 lacs in company fixed deposits, then better invest 1 lacs in 2 different company, that would diversify your risk to some extent. Also if you are investing for some very important goal, then better settle with Bank Fixed Deposits and not Corporate deposits,  it’s better to settle with 2-3% less returns then take unneccessary risk . Here are some words of caution while choosing Company deposits .

Which Company Fixed Deposits you should avoid

  • Companies which offer interest higher than 15%.
  • Companies which are not paying regular dividends to the shareholder
  • Companies whose Balance Sheet shows losses
  • Companies which are below investment grade (A or under) rating.
  • Pvt limited Companies and Partnership firms as its very difficult to judge their performance.

List of Corporate Fixed Deposits

Company Name 1 yr 2 yr 3 yr
Ansal Properties and Infrastructure 11.5 12 12.5
Ansal Housing & Construction 11 11 12
Ind Swift Ltd., 11 11.5 12
Ind Swift Lab Ltd., 11 11.5 12
Jai Prakash Associates Ltd 11 11.5 12
Surya Roshni Ltd. 11 11.5 12
Shri Ram – Subhihska (62 Months) 12
Mukund Ltd/ Mukund Eng. Ltd(Plan B) 10.5 11 11.25
Jagatjit Industries 10 10.5 11
Jindal Stainless Ltd., 10 10.5 11

See Full List of Corporate Fixed Deposits

Other Important Points

  • Generally Corporate fixed deposits come for least tenure of 6 months .
  • No Income Tax is deducted at source if the interest income is up to Rs 5,000 in one financial year.
  • It would be wise to check company performance and movement in share prices half-yearly at least . This is for a review .
  • Companies generally provide a very high commission to brokers in order to push their Fixed Deposits.

148 CommentsAdd Comment

  1. Mskalra

    I have FD with JP industries.
    Repayment on matured FD is delayed for almost 6 months.
    Is there anything we can do to get payment in time.
    Is this company going to dupe the investers

  2. Prakash Sagar

    Dear Manish,

    Thank you for an informative article educating article above.

    My reason to connect with you is to explore possibilities of initiating proceedings against Jayprakash Associates & Birla Shloka, between the two I have deposited a total of 100,000 which has been long due and yet remains unpaid.

    Would appreciate if you can either provide any assistance or connect me with someone who can help me get my money back from them

    Anticipating your earliest positive response


  3. NS

    My parents have invested in FDs in Helios & Matheson. They had issued PDCs for interest & FD maturity amount. But at the time of maturity the cheques have bounced. The company office in Powai is not picking up phones, the emails bounce back. The agent asked us to give the company some time & hold on. But after waiting for three months, the next quarter cheques have bounced again. Can you guide me regarding the procedure to be followed.

    • Hi NS

      True speaking you cant do much here. THe company has defaulted on maturity and now just wait for their communication. This is the risk of investing in Company FD

  4. Rewa Shankar Gupta

    I have invested the following amount in FDR of Plethico Pharma and I have sent these matured FD through Bajaj Capital but nothing has been done by the company. Number of reminders have been sent but no reply:
    Name FDR No. Date of Investment Amount Maturity
    Krishna Gupta 7170 22.6.2011 Rs. 3 Lac 22.6.2014
    Rewa Shankar Gupta 7171 do Rs. 3 Lac 22.6.2014
    -do- 23581 20.9.2012 90,000/-(commulative)

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