All companies which have a profit maximizing objective hold a certain degree of risk whether through microeconomic or macroeconomic factors. Banks also face a number of risks atypical of non financial companies due to the payment and intermediary function which they perform. Recent changes in the banking environment has lead to an increased pressure to maximize shareholder value, this means that banks take on a higher risk in order to gain a higher return. It is due to this increased pressure and market volatility that banking risk needs such effective management to ensure the banks continued solvency. Risk can be defined as an “exposure to uncertainty of outcome” measured by the volatility (standard deviation) of net cash flow within the firm. Banks aim to add equity to the bank by maximizing the risk adjusted return to shareholders highlighting the importance of fully considering the risk and return business equation. Exposure to risk does not always lead to a loss, pure risk only has a downside from the expected outcome but speculative risk can produce either a better or worse result that expected.
Credit risk is the risk that the counterparty will fail to repay the loan in part or full. This includes delayed payments or any default on the loan agreement. It is widely know that credit risk is one of the most damaging risks to banks, for this reason there is usually a separate credit department run around a credit culture of the management’s views. The objective of the credit department will be to maximize shareholder value added through credit risk management.… Read the rest