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SME Corporate Credit Analysis

This Programme is designed for professionals involved in lending to small and medium enterprises. Using a mixture of classroom lecture, group discussion and interactive exercises, it focuses on the essential methodologies, tools, concepts and information sources required to effectively evaluate loan requests and a borrower’s ability to service debt.

Delegates will learn how financial information helps to capture and reflect the critical factors of risk and success in the competitive environment of SMEs and will apply techniques to link lending products and client acquisition to the understanding of risk and deal structuring. There is focus on the linkage between competitive dynamics in an industry, business aims, accounting quality and financial analysis and decision-making.

Learning outcomes

Participants in this course will gain a deep understanding of:

  • Methods and tools for conducting financial analysis in the SME segment
  • Credit risk analysis and alignment of risk/reward to the bank’s lending strategy.
  • The critical success factors associated with an industry/sectoral approach to assessment
  • Cash flow drivers and ratios
  • Capital and interest-gearing implications for corporate customers.
  • Corporate equity and debt structure
  • The underlying risks associated with corporate relationships and alternative lending propositions
  • Techniques for assessing repayment capability and capacity
  • The nature of lending contracts and documentation and the appropriate use of security and covenants to support a higher level of primary bank debt finance
  • The key issues and warning signals of a borrower in distress

Who should attend?

The course has been designed for SME lending and credit risk managers, responsible for diverse customer portfolios. This includes credit professionals responsible for such functions as Credit Risk Management, Credit Policies and Procedures, Risk Assessment, Credit Approval, Loan Administration/ Monitoring, and Collections and Workouts in relation to SME or commercial lending.

Typical candidates who will benefit from this course include:

  • Credit Risk Managers
  • Credit Controllers
  • Senior Risk Managers
  • Head of Credit
  • Lending Managers
  • Credit Administration Officers
  • Financial Analysts
  • Senior Relationship Managers

    Course outline 

    • The Regulatory Impact on the Financial Services Industry.
    • Consideration of Lending Purpose
    • Business borrowers and their requirements.
    • Lending products and alternative sources of finance.

    • Review and analysis of principal lending criteria – core building blocks.
    • Analysis of risks associated with specific types of organisation and the alignment of borrowing requirement to industry expectations / norms.
    • Evaluation of supply chain operations and impact on operational cash-flow needs.

    • Analysis of business strategy and its relationship with finance.
    • Advanced application of practical tools application including analysis of earnings quality, earnings management and free cash-flow analysis.
    • How financial statement information captures and reflects the critical success factors of risk in the competitive environment and strategy of firms.
    • Techniques with respect to empirical evidence.

    • The importance of cash-flow measurement and the risk of using traditional accounting performance measures.
    • Cash-flow drivers and the relationship with value creation.
    • Using ratios as a working tool and setting guidelines for key ratios
    • Calculating free cash flow and its relevance
    • The importance of positive working capital and the trading cycle. 

    • Capital structures, debt versus equity.
    • Alternative approaches to assessing payback
    • Techniques with respect to empirical evidence.

    • The underlying risks associated with corporate relationships and alternative lending propositions.
    • The relative importance and propensity of these risks (both financial and non-financial). 

    • Analysis of the need for finance
    • Development and justification of suitable alternatives involving different terms and products
    • Evaluation of alternative finance solutions and alignment of risk/return models. 

    • Internal inspections and reviews –managing the process
    • Understanding and appreciating the different types of security
    • Warning signs and how to manage them. 

    • Documentation considerations – alignment wh facility structure and underlying risks
    • Managing documentation issues, covenants, both financial and non-financial.
    • Collateral assessment and the calculation of recovery prospects
    • First party v third party security; Potential hazards with third party security. 

    • Unstable funding sources
    • Volatile earnings
    • Over-concentration
    • Asset and liability mismatches
    • Excessive growth
    • Liquidity analysis
    • Case studies on problem loans

    • Off-balance sheet liabilities
    • The importance of initial data gathering
    • Case studies on problem loans

    • Designing and implementing a debt management system
    • Planning the process
    • Setting up procedures
    • Systems/strategies for monitoring potential problems. 

    Course instructor 

    Headshot of Simon Ling-Locke

    Simon Ling-Locke MBA, FCIB, DipFS, PGCHE
    Simon Ling-Locke was the head of the European leverage finance and corporate teams at UFJ Bank and managed a book of over USD2 billion in assets. Overall he has in excess of 30 years banking experience in the international markets and has spent 25 years working in the syndicated loan market gaining a wide range of experience across risk management in major banking organisations including Barclays, Tokai and UFJ banks. Before embarking on his career as a full time trainer, lecturer and consultant, Simon headed up and developed the training activities at the Loan Market Association (the association for the syndicated loan market for the European and Middle East regions).

    Professionally, Simon is a Senior Lecturer for The London Institute of Banking & Finance, an active trainer and consultant on risk management, credit risk, credit portfolio management, debt restructuring and sovereign risk subjects. His style of teaching is known for his direct speaking on financial subjects and the impact it has on risk perceptions. In particular, he forewarned of the financial crisis some 2 years before it happened .He has undertaken research and written articles for various publications including Financier Worldwide, International Finance and the Turnaround Management Association and written material for a Masters level Derivatives and Risk Management programme for the Open University. Simon holds a Masters of Business Administration, obtained post graduate qualifications in banking and finance and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers. He also holds a postgraduate certificate in higher education.

    Dates and location 

    Date and time: 

     25th & 26th October 2017, 9am - 5pm


    The London Institute of Banking & Finance
    Peninsular House, 36 Monument Street
    London, EC3R 8LJ

    Registration and fees 

    Register online or contact our events team on +44 (0) 20 7337 6286 or

    • Members  £890
    • Non-Members  £980
    Registration fee includes all learning materials, lunch and refreshments. 

    Register here

    Multiple bookings and in-house delivery

    Discounts are available for group bookings . If you have five or more delegates who wish to attend this course, it may be more cost effective to run it in-house. To find out more about group discounts and in-house delivery, please contact the Events team at or on +44 (0) 20 7337 6286

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