Credit Analysis

Credit Analysis Definition

Credit analysis is a process of drawing conclusions from available data (both quantitative and qualitative) regarding the creditworthiness of an entity, and making recommendations regarding the perceived needs, and risks. Credit Analysis is also concerned with the identification, evaluation, and mitigation of risks associated with an entity failing to meet financial commitments.

Credit Analysis Process

The below diagram shows the overall Credit Analysis Process.

Credit Analysis Process

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What does a Credit Analyst look for?

In layman terms, Credit analysis is more about the identification of risks in situations where a potential for lending is observed by the Banks. Both quantitative and qualitative assessment forms a part of the overall appraisal of the clients (company/individual). This, in general, helps to determine the entity’s debt-servicing capacity or its ability to repay.

Ever wondered why bankers ask so many questions and make you fill so many forms when you apply for a loan. Don’t some of them feel intrusive and repetitive, and the whole process of submission of various documents seems cumbersome. You just try to fathom as to what they do with all this data and what they are actually trying to ascertain! It is definitely not only your deadly charm and attractive personality that makes you a good potential borrower; obviously, there is more to that story. So here, we will try to get an idea about what exactly a Credit Analyst is looking for.

The 5 C’s of Credit Analysis

Credit Analysis

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Character

  • This is the part where the general impression of the protective borrower is analyzed. The lender forms a very subjective opinion about the trustworthiness of the entity to repay the loan. Discrete inquiries, background, experience level, market opinion, and various other sources can be a way to collect qualitative information, and then an opinion can be formed, whereby he can make a decision about the character of the entity.

Capacity

Capital

Collateral (or Guarantees)

  • Collateral is a form of security that the borrower provides to the lender to appropriate the loan in case it is not repaid from the returns as established at the time of availing the facility. Guarantees, on the other hand, are documents promising the repayment of the loan from someone else (generally family member or friends), if the borrower fails to repay the loan. Getting adequate collateral or guarantees as may deem fit to cover partly or wholly the loan amount bears huge significance. This is a way to mitigate the default risk. Many times, Collateral security is also used to offset any distasteful factors that may have come to the forefront during the assessment process.

Conditions

  • Conditions describe the purpose of the loan as well as the terms under which the facility is sanctioned. Purposes can be Working capital, purchase of additional equipment, inventory, or for long term investment. The lender considers various factors, such as macroeconomic conditions, currency positions, and industry health, before putting forth the conditions for the facility.

Credit Analysis Case Study

From times immemorial, there has been an eternal conflict between entrepreneurs/businessmen and bankers regarding the quantification of credit. The resentment on the part of the business owner arises when he believes that the banker might not be fully appreciating his business requirements/needs and might be underestimating the real scale of opportunity that is accessible to him, provided he gets a sufficient quantum of loan. However, the credit analyst might be having his own reasons to justify the amount of risk he is ready to bear, which may include bad experiences with that particular sector or his own assessment of the business requirements. Many times there are also internal norms or regulations which force the analyst to follow a more restrictive discourse.

The most important point to realize is that banks are in the business of selling money, and therefore risk regulation and restraint are very fundamental to the whole process. Therefore, the loan products available to prospective customers, the terms and conditions set for availing the facility, and the steps taken by the bank to protect its assets against default all have a direct forbearance to the proper assessment of the credit facilityCredit FacilityCredit Facility is a pre-approved bank loan facility to businesses allowing them to borrow the capital amount as & when needed for their long-term/short-term requirements without having to re-apply for a loan each time. read more.

So, let’s have a look at what does a loan proposal looks like:

The exact nature of proposals may vary depending on subsequent clients, but the elements are generally the same.

**To put things into perspective, let’s consider the example of one Sanjay Sallaya, who is credited to being one of the biggest defaulters in recent history, along with being one of the biggest businessmen in the world. He owns multiple companies, some sports franchises, and few bungalows in all major cities.

  1. Who is the client? Ex. Sanjay Sallaya, a reputed industrialist, owning majority share in XYZ ltd., and some others.
  2. Quantum of credit they need and when? Ex. Starting a new airline division, which would cater to the high-end segment of society. Credit demand is $25 mil, needed over the next 6 months.
  3. The specific purpose the credit will be employed for? Ex. Acquiring new aircraft and capital for day to day operations like fuel costs, staff emoluments, airport parking charges, etc.
  4. Ways and means to service the debt obligations (which include application and processing fees, interest, principal, and other statutory charges) Ex. Revenue generated from flight operations, freight delivery, and freight delivery.
  5. What protection (collateral) can the client provide in the event of default? Ex. Multiple bungalows in prime locations are offered as collateral, along with the personal guaranteePersonal GuaranteeA personal guarantee is an agreement between three parties – lender, borrower, and guarantor, whereby the guarantor has legal binding attached to him to repay the lender and honour the loan agreement if the borrower defaults.read more of Sanjay Sallaya, one of the most reputed businessmen in the world.
  6. What are the key areas of the business, and how are they operated and monitored? Ex. Detailed reports would be provided on all key metrics related to the business.

Answers to these questions help the credit analyst to understand the broad risks associated with the proposed loan. These questions provide the basic information about the client and help the analyst to get deeper into the business and understand any intrinsic risks associated with it.

Credit Analyst – Obtaining Quantitative Data from the Clients

Other than the above questions, the analyst also needs to obtain quantitative data specific to the client:

**It must be understood that the credit analyst, once convinced, will act as the client’s advocate in presenting the application to the bank’s loan committee and also guiding it through the bank’s internal procedures. The details obtained are also used to finalize the loan documentation, terms, rates, and any special covenants which need to be stipulated, keeping in mind the business framework of the client as well the macroeconomic factors.

Credit Analysis – Judgement

After collating all the information, now the analyst has to make the real “Judgement” regarding the different aspects of the proposal, which will be presented to the sanctioning committee:

  • Loan – After understanding the need of the client, one of the many types of loans, can be tailored to suit the client’s needs. Amount of money, the maturity of the loan, expected use of proceeds can be fixed, depending upon the nature of the industry and the creditworthiness of the company.
  • Company – The market share of the company, products, and services offered, major suppliers, clients, and competitors, should be analyzed to ascertain its dependence on such factors.
  • Credit History – Past is an important parameter to predict the future. Therefore, keeping in line with this conventional wisdom, the client’s past credit accounts should be analyzed to check any irregularities or defaults. This also allows the analyst to judge the kind of client we are dealing with by checking the number of times late payments were made or what penalties were imposed due to non-compliance with stipulated norms.
  • Analysis of market – Analysis of the concerned market is of utmost importance as this helps us in identifying and evaluating the dependency of the company on external factors. Market structure, size, and demand of the concerned client’s product are important factors that analysts are concerned with.

Credit Analysis Ratios

A company’s financials contain the exact picture of what the business is going through, and this quantitative assessment bears the utmost significance. Analysts consider various ratios and financial instruments to arrive at the true picture of the company.

  1. Liquidity ratios – These ratios deal with the ability of the company to repay its creditors, expenses, etc. These ratios are used to arrive at the cash generation capacity of the company. A profitable company does not imply that it will meet all its financial commitments.
  2. Solvability ratios – These ratios deal with the balance sheet itemsBalance Sheet ItemsAssets such as cash, inventories, accounts receivable, investments, prepaid expenses, and fixed assets; liabilities such as long-term debt, short-term debt, Accounts payable, and so on are all included in the balance sheet.read more and are used to judge the future path that the company may follow.
  3. Solvency ratios – Solvency ratios are used to judge the risk involved in the business. These ratios take into the picture the increasing amount of debts, which may adversely affect the long term solvency of the companySolvency Of The CompanySolvency of a company means its ability to meet the long term financial commitments, continue its operation in the foreseeable future and achieve long term growth. It indicates that the entity will conduct its business with ease.read more.
  4. Profitability ratios – Profitability ratios show the ability of a company to earn a satisfactory profit over a period of time.
  5. Efficiency ratios – These ratios provide insight into the management’s ability to earn a return on the capital involved, and the control they have on the expenses.
  6. Cash flow and projected cash flow analysis – Cash flow statement is one of the most important instruments available to a Credit Analyst, as this helps him to gauge the exact nature of revenue and profit flow. This helps him get a true picture of the movement of money in and out of business.
  7. Collateral analysis – Any security provided should be marketable, stable, and transferable. These factors are highly important as a failure on any of these fronts will lead to complete failure of this obligation.
  8. SWOT analysisSWOT Analysis is again a subjective analysis, which is done to align the expectations and current reality with market conditions.

If you wish to learn more about financial analysis, then click here for this amazing Financial Statement analysis guide.

Credit Rating

A credit rating is a quantitative method using statistical models to assess creditworthiness based on the information of the borrower. Most banking institutions have their own rating mechanism. This is done to judge under which risk categoryRisk CategoryRisks are categorized as per the business activities of the organization. They provide a structured overview of the underlying and potential risks faced by them. The most commonly used risk classifications include strategic, financial, operational, people, regulatory and finance.read more the borrower falls. This also helps in determining the term and conditions and various models use multiple quantitative and qualitative fields to judge the borrower. Many banks also use external rating agencies such as Moody’s, Fitch, S&P, etc. to rate borrowers, which then forms an important basis for consideration of the loan.

Lesson Learned – Mr. Sanjay Sallaya

So, let’s illustrate the whole exercise with the help of an example of Mr. Sanjay Sallaya, who is a liquor Barron and a hugely respected industrialist, who also happens to own a few sports franchises and has bungalows in the most expensive locals. He now wants to start his own airline and has therefore approached you for a loan to finance the same.

The loan is for a meager $1 million. So, as a credit analyst, we have to assess whether or not to go forward with the proposal. To begin, we will obtain all the required documents which are needed to understand the business model, working plan, and other details of his new proposed business. Necessary inspection and enquires are undertaken to validate the veracity of his documents. A TEV, i.e., Techno-Economic Viability, can also be undertaken to get an opinion from the experts in the aviation industry about the viability of the plan.

When we are finally satisfied with the overall efficacy of the plan, we can discuss the securities that will collaterally cover our loan (partly/fully). Mr. Sanjay Sallaya being a well-established industrialist, holds a good reputation in the business world and, therefore, will hold good recommendations. Such a proposal, if it meets all other aspects, can be presented for sanction, comfortably, and generally enjoys good terms from the bank’s side as the risk associated with such personalities is always assessed to be less.

Therefore, to conclude, Mr. Sanjay Sallaya will get a loan of $1 million approved and will go on to start his airline business. However, what the future holds can never be predicted when a loan is sanctioned.

also, check out the difference between Equity Research vs. Credit ResearchEquity Research Vs. Credit ResearchEquity research is concerned with determining the price of a firm's stock or shares through valuation of a publicly traded corporation, whereas credit research is more technical and complex and focuses on bonds and interest rates.read more

Conclusion

Credit Analysis is about making decisions keeping in mind the past, present, and future. As a Credit analyst, two days in life are never the same. The role offers a plethora of opportunities to learn and understand different types of businesses as one engages with a multitude of clients hailing from different sectors. Not only is the career monetarily rewarding, but it also helps an individual grow along with providing good opportunities to build one’s career.

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Comments

  1. Raluca says

    Congratulations for your blog, for the content and for the lightness and clarity contained in each article. I just finished reading “credit analysis” post and I already feel more confident about the job interview I have tomorrow.
    Good work, there are a lot of people who appreciate it.

    Thank you!

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Thanks for your kind words!

  2. Oliver Bindo says

    This is one of the best resources which I have seen till now. There so many article with such a useful knowledge that can help you to develop your career professionally. You are really doing a great job SIR. I have one question regarding Credit research and my question is why credit Rating keeps on changing?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      thanks a lot. This means a lot to me. And I will be happy to answer your question where it’s just simple to tell you credit ratings are not constant they keep on changing from time to time as the credit quality of an issue or issuer alters in ways that were not expected at the time a rating was assigned. Hope i have cleared your question. Let me know if anything else you require. Thanks

  3. Martin Benard says

    Thanks for providing such valuable notes. You have explained everything brilliantly in step by step procedure. Great work Sir. Sir can you please tell me what are the qualifications required to become Credit Research Analyst?

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      : Thank you so much for your kind words. Well to become a Credit Research Analyst there are few qualifications which you need to know. First is you must be a commerce Graduate or may be post graduates like MBA’s and CA’s. most of the organizations prefer post graduate candidates with relevant experience of one or two years and last you must have a certification on Credit Rating. Sometimes non commerce backgrounds with CFA or FRM are also considered for credit roles.

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