Credit risk simply defined as the probability of loss due to a customer’s failure to make payments on any type of debt. The risk accrues to the suppliers of goods , finance  and services and  relates to loss of  principal and interest, disruption to cash flows as a result of delayed payments  and increased collection costs. The loss resulting from credit risk may be complete or partial and can arise in a number of circumstances including the following;

  • Where a customer may fail to make a payment due on a debt, credit card, line of credit, or other loan where a  customer  is unable to repay asset-secured fixed or floating charge debt
  • Where a business or consumer does not pay a trade invoice when due
  • Where a business does not pay an employee’s earned wages when due
  • Where a business or government bond issuer does not make a payment on a coupon or principal payment when due
  • Where an insolvent insurance company does not pay a policy obligation
  • Where an insolvent bank won’t return funds to a depositor
  • Where a government grants bankruptcy protection to an insolvent consumer or business
  • Where in the case of cross-border obligations, any default arising from the flow of foreign exchange and/or due to restrictions imposed on remittances out of a country Credit Risk Management

Reduction of credit risk

The credit risk can be reduced in the following ways;

  • Adequate credit management
  • Performing  a credit check on the prospective borrower
  • The customer  taking  out appropriate insurance
  • Obtaining adequate security which can be easily realized
  •  Guarantees  by  a financially strong   third party

Common Causes of Credit Risk

  • Credit Concentration – relating to concentrating credit on  a few customers  or  sector
  • Ineffective  credit appraisal processes
  • Credit Exposure in the market and liquidity-sensitive sectors

Challenges in  credit risk management

  • Lack of information  on the potential customers for credit appraisal purposes
  • Ineffective risk mitigation strategies.
  • Lack of  capacity for risk management in terms of human resources and tools to apply


To effective manage credit risk there is need to gain a complete understanding of  the customers  overall credit risk by viewing risk at various levels.



Kasemiire Agnes Akiiki

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