IMPORTANCE OF CREDIT MANAGEMENT IN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS | Audit and Accounting Firm in Kenya

Credit management is a process used by financial institutions and businesses to manage and minimize the risk associated with lending money. The primary objective of credit management is to reduce the financial risk for the lender, which can include the risk of default or non-repayment by the borrower. Financial institutions, such as banks, play a vital role in providing loans to businesses, and this process involves inherent credit risk. The lender must assess the creditworthiness of the borrower before approving a loan, and then monitor the loan throughout its term to ensure that it is being repaid as agreed.

What is Credit Management?

The process of overseeing and controlling the lending process to minimize the risk associated with lending money to borrowers is known as credit management. It includes granting credit, establishing the terms of the agreement, collecting the loaned amount, performing due diligence, and more. An efficient credit management system focuses on reducing credit risk which could negatively affect the cash flow and result in losses.

A sound credit management strategy ensures that the business never faces any cash flow disruptions and also minimizes the amount of capital tied up with debtors so it can be invested to generate returns. Eliminating bad debts by decreasing credit risk can greatly assist in saving funds for profitable ventures.

Banks and financial institutions play a major role in channeling funds into the economy, and with this comes an increased risk of credit risk. Therefore, an effective credit management policy is essential for players in the banking and financial services industry.

Objectives of Credit Management

The central aim of credit management is to avoid excessive debt. Having easy access to credit, such as multiple credit accounts with large credit limits, can cause significant financial difficulties and even bankruptcy in case of a job loss or illness. It is important to follow prudent spending guidelines when determining the appropriate size of your credit lines relative to your income and the amount of debt you should have on those lines.

1. Managing Financial Risk

The primary goal of credit management is to minimize financial risk for financial institutions. Credit risk is the risk of a borrower defaulting on their loan repayment obligation. There are many factors that can increase credit risk, which can lead to significant losses for banks and financial corporations. Credit management helps to efficiently manage the financial risk associated with doing business. Effective credit management policies help to identify and exclude poor borrowers who are not eligible for a loan from banks. When companies adhere to credit management policies, they can better handle losses and bad debts.

2. Improving Cash Flow

Cash flow refers to the cash income and expenditure that are recorded in a company’s financial records. Maintaining a balanced cash flow enables businesses to manage their investments effectively. Businesses require cash for various purposes such as paying creditors or suppliers, buying assets or inventory, investing, etc. Elevated credit risk can impede cash flow and result in losses. Enhancing cash flow can be decisive for organizations, particularly for banks and financial companies.

3. Fiduciary Responsibility

A company has a legal and ethical duty to act in the best interest of its clients or other stakeholders. Lending companies also have a fiduciary responsibility towards their shareholders, which means they are accountable for all of their actions. Implementing a conservative credit risk management policy is crucial in fulfilling fiduciary responsibility as it helps to protect loan portfolios and reduces the likelihood of bad debts that could harm the interest of shareholders.

In conclusion, implementing a conservative credit risk management policy is crucial for lending companies to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility towards their clients, stakeholders and shareholders. By managing risks and protecting the interests of their investments, lending companies can ensure the longevity and success of their business.

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