Credit risk is defined as the potential loss arising from a bank borrower or counterparty failing to meet its obligations in accordance with the agreed terms.
The Bank is exposed to credit risk in both its lending and treasury activities, as borrowers and treasury counterparties could default on their contractual obligations, or the value of the Bank’s investments could become impaired. Credit risk may also materialise in the form of a rating downgrade that may negatively affect the Bank’s capital or provisioning against credit losses. Credit risk also covers settlement and pre-settlement risk. Likewise, collateral risk is also considered as part of credit risk (collateral is essentially a credit risk mitigation technique). Overall, credit risk is a function of the amount of credit exposure and the credit quality of the borrower or transaction.
Risk Management (RM) performs credit risk assessment and assigns internal ratings to new transactions based on qualitative and quantitative factors. In addition, RM establishes the risk conditions and provisions and sets out credit limits taking into account the credit quality of the borrower. Finally, RM reviews on an annual basis the Internal Rating of all counterparties.