Risk Management Framework

Risk management is an essential function for any bank, as it helps to protect the bank’s financial position, reputation, and long-term viability. An effective risk management framework consists of several key components that work together to identify, assess, and manage risks.

Risk Governance

The first key component of an effective risk management framework is risk governance. This involves establishing clear risk management policies, procedures, and guidelines that align with the bank’s overall strategy and objectives. The bank’s board of directors and senior management should be actively involved in setting risk management policies and overseeing the bank’s risk management activities.

Risk Identification

The second key component is risk identification. The bank should have a comprehensive risk identification process in place to identify all potential risks associated with its business activities, products, and services. This includes identifying internal and external risks such as credit risk, operational risk, market risk, and compliance risk.

Risk Assessment

Once risks are identified, the bank should assess the likelihood and impact of each identified risk to determine its potential impact on the bank’s overall operations, financial position, and reputation. This includes assessing the potential impact of risks on the bank’s customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

Risk Mitigation

The bank should develop and implement risk mitigation strategies to manage and reduce the likelihood and impact of identified risks. This may include implementing internal controls, establishing risk limits, and developing contingency plans.

Risk Monitoring

An effective risk management framework should include ongoing risk monitoring to ensure that the framework is functioning as intended. This involves continuously monitoring the bank’s risk management activities to identify emerging risks and ensure that existing risks are being effectively managed.

Risk Reporting

The bank should have a robust risk reporting framework in place to provide timely and accurate information on risk exposures and mitigation activities to the board of directors, senior management, and other stakeholders. Effective risk reporting helps ensure that the bank’s management team has the information they need to make informed decisions about risk management activities.

Risk Culture

Finally, an effective risk management framework should foster a risk-aware culture throughout the organization. This involves ensuring that all employees understand their roles and responsibilities in managing risks and are held accountable for their actions. A strong risk culture helps to ensure that risk management activities are integrated into the bank’s day-to-day operations.

In conclusion, an effective risk management framework is essential for banks to identify, assess, and manage risks. The key components of such a framework include risk governance, risk identification, risk assessment, risk mitigation, risk monitoring, risk reporting, and risk culture. By implementing an effective risk management framework, banks can effectively manage risks and protect their financial position, reputation, and long-term viability.

Joe Bowerbank,

Business Development, Creditinfo Group.


Paving the way for a brighter future through SME lending  

Developing modern solutions and removing barriers, paves the way for a brighter future through SME lending

SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) are known as one of the biggest business sectors in each economy, being important contributors to job creation and global economic development. They create more than 50% of employment worldwide.

SMEs have gained importance in developing economies. Although SMEs have some weaknesses, they are less affected by economic crises due to their flexibility and ability to keep up with changing conditions. SMEs are vital establishments to create an effective innovation ecosystemThis is shown by recent studies that SME’s can contribute to over 55% of GDP and over 50% of total employment.

SMEs can find it increasingly difficult to borrow money from traditional banks because of strict requirements. It is often seen that SMEs are riskier than large institutions as it is difficult for banks to evaluate them in the same way since they often do not have solid accounting systems. This difficulty in assessing their creditworthiness often impacts the bank’s ability to provide affordable credit. As a result, many SMEs are forced to look at alternative solutions such as expensive credit lines charging high interest rates or offering costly collateral. Neither of these options are sustainable for small businesses.

SMEs need fast decisions and a more agile, digital approach. This is where Creditinfo and local Fintechs are working in collaboration to support the sector. Together, we specialize in using technology to quickly assess each SME’s entire data footprint and then provide tailored financial solutions. Based on our experience in Africa, we can assess the credit risk an SME poses by using real-time data from multiple sources, including e-wallets, credit bureaus and credit scores. The traditional method, consisting of manual processes and hard copies, is now an outdated approach in the digital world.

Digital SME finance, using alternative data, offers an extraordinary opportunity for addressing some of the challenges. Every time SMEs and their customers use digital services, conduct banking transactions, make or accept digital payments, use their mobile phones, or manage their receivables and payables through a digital platform, they create alternative data. This real-time and verified data can be analyzed to determine both capacity and willingness to repay loans.

Specific SME assessment methodology can also be applied. For example, small companies tend to have a greater level of owner centricity. Therefore, blending business and personal data can enable the development of highly predictive blended scorecards that utilize the payment behaviour of business owners and managers and company credit data to produce a more comprehensive risk assessment.

Help is also needed from Central Banks to continue to support this sector. We are seeing reforms happening globally where Central Banks are implementing mandates for all banks to lend a set percentage of their credit portfolios to SMEs. Boosting the availability of finance for the SME sector, the reforms aim to ease the flow and reduce the high cost of credit to a sector that is considered an engine of growth for the future.

SME lending is rapidly growing, and by putting the customer needs first and using new solutions and data, we can begin to shift the status quo. Globally there is a shift toward digital lending solutions, which can support a level playing field for SMEs. By transforming this lending sector as a whole, we can make it more accessible for small businesses to grow and continue making a difference.

Joe Bowerbank – Business/Commercial Development, Creditinfo Group.