Credit Management Practices and Loan Performance: Empirical Evidence from Commercial Banks in Kenya
Commercial banks in Kenya as per the World Bank report were recording higher non-performance in loans over the study period than the standard globally in spite of Kenya having the most stable and developed banking system in East and Central Africa region. Commercial banks non-performing loans for five years from 2015 to 2018 averaged eleven percent which was higher than the recommended rate of one percent. In Kenya, commercial banks’ non-performing loans remain higher than the recommended rate which could be due to inadequate credit management practices. The study therefore aimed at examining the effect of credit management practices on loan performance of commercial banks in Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to establish the effect of debt collection policy, client appraisal and lending policy on the loan performance of commercial banks in Kenya. The underpinning theory of the study was the 5Cs model for credit. The study used explanatory research design and the research philosophy adopted was positivism. The target population was 44 commercial banks in Kenya and a census approach was used. Both primary and secondary data were used. Primary data was collected through structured questionnaires and related to credit management practices while secondary data was obtained from review of existing bank loan records in relation to loan amount advanced and non-performing loans for a period of four years from 2015-2018. The data collected was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics with the help of SPSS version 22. The study found out that debt collection policy and lending policy had a positive significant effect on loan performance of commercial banks in Kenya. However, client appraisal had no significant effect on loan performance of commercial banks in Kenya. Therefore, the study concluded that commercial banks’ loan performance could be largely attributed to the efficiency of the credit management practices put in place at the institutions. The study recommended that commercial banks to regularly evaluate and update practices relating to debt collection policy, client appraisal and lending policy that are capable of ensuring that credit risks are identified and recorded from departmental level to the institution at large. This is vital in light of technological innovations in the banking sector like mobile lending that may limit commercial banks’ ability to evaluate and manage credit using traditional methods.
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