A substandard loan is best defined as an adversely classified loan that carries a risk of loss for the lender. As with other types of loan classifications, these are also determined using a history of past delinquencies, information uncovered during audits, or industry trends. Banks classify these loans in a particular way both to minimize their risks and meet regulatory requirements.
Why These Loans Are of Concern
One of the most significant concerns with substandard loans is that the obligor has less of an ability to repay. There may also be issues with the worth of the collateral involved in the transaction. Lenders make these classifications very carefully because of the possible consequences.
When a bank lends to a consumer, there needs to be a reasonable expectation that they will be able to collect repayments. Otherwise, the lender may face losses that are problematic when they build up over time. It is always in a lender’s best interests to try to avoid such a situation.
How Loan Classification Often Has Consequences
Loan classifications not only matter for businesses but also make a difference in policy and regulatory requirements. How banks handle these types of loans is a reasonable assessment of how well they are following procedures. It’s not uncommon for banks to delegate these types of loans to special departments.
Banking regulations often change, and the lending process is one of many factors that might be involved. How a bank classifies its loans might make a difference in whether it conforms to new regulations. The more diligent a bank is about these matters, the fewer challenges they will face in adapting to changes.
The loan classification process, while often seen as puzzling to many outside the industry, is one of the best ways banks protect their investments, conform to current regulations, and reduce their costs to customers.