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CREDIT CONTROL AND DEBT COLLECTION POLICY IN MICRO FINANCE BANKS IN NIGERIA
This study tend to determine and appraise the credit control and debt collection policy of Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigerian plc. The area of the study covers all the credit control and the incidence of Bad debts in Nigeria Microfinance Banks(Lapo Microfinance bank). The source of data collection was both primary and secondary. The employees of Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigeria Plc. Main branch of made up of 2020 staff as the population of study. The sample size is 334 and the data collection instrument is the Questionnaire. The study conclude that Inadequate collateral provisions by borrowers increases the incidence of bad debt in Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigeria. The study recommend that The government should try to make the economy investment friendly by putting in place political stability, security of lives and good economic climate to draw home foreign investors to boost the nation’s productivity. This will also reduce capital flight plaguing the country.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In a modern economy, there is distinction between the surplus economic units and the deficit economic units and inconsequence a separation of the savings investment mechanism.This has necessitated the existence of financial institution whose jobs include the transfer of funds from savers to investors. One of such institution is the microfinance banks,the intermediating roles of the Microfinance Banks places them in a position of ``trustees´´ of the saving of the widely dispersed surplus economic units as well as the determinant of the rate and shape of the economic development.The techniques employed by bankers in this intermediary function should provide them with perfect knowledge of the outcomes of lending such that funds will be allocated to investments in which the probability of full payment is certain. However, in practise no such tool can be found in the decision of the lending banker. Virtually all lending decisions are made under creditors on uncertainty.The risk and uncertainty associated with lending decision, situation are so great that the concepts of risk and risk analysis need to be employed by lending bankers in order to facilitate sound decision-making and judgement. This statement implies that if risks are to be objectively assessed, credit decisions by the Microfinance Banks should be based less on quantitative data and more on principles too subjective to provide sound and unbiased judgement. Furthermore, the banks depend heavily on historical information as a basis for decision making.
Apparently aware of the inadequacies of his decisions base, the lending banker has often sought solace in tangible and marketable assets as security giving the impression that lending against such securities is an insurance against bad debts. This makes the banker complacent with his loan portfolio.The increasing trend of provisions for bad and doubtful debts in most Microfinance Banks is a major source of concern not only to management but also to the shareholders who are becoming more aware of the dangers posed by these debts. Bad debts destroy part of the earning assets of banks such as loans and advances which have been described as the main source of earning and also determines the liquidity and solvency which generate two major problems, That is profitability and liquidity, has to earn sufficient income to meet its operating costs and to have adequate return on its investments.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
The problem for this study is to appraise the lending and credit control policies of a typical Microfinance Bank (The LAPO Microfinance bank of Nigeria Plc) with a view of finding the causes, consequences of bad debts in banks. Year after year, banks suffer much from the part of full loan extended, which has for one reason or the other proven unrecoverable. Banks lose millions of Naira in various bad debts yearly and despite efforts by bank management, committee of chief inspectors and the bankers committee on the other hand, the wave of bad debts in banks is still on alarming proportion.
In 2005, The Federal Government, through policy guard lines established Micro Finance Banks (MFB) in replacement of community Banks, But most huge amount of money they lose through bad debts. The implication is that there is no more confidence on some bank customers who have calculated scientific ways of defrauding the banks.
Liquidity in banking sector also makes banking unable to meet repayment obligations severe cases, there are introduction of technology insolvency. Indiscriminate and unprofessional lending practices, Poor Management which finances long-term loans assets with short term inabilities.
Again, experience may arise in respect of lapses on the part of the bank’s credit officers. In each of these cases the customer may easily deny even owing the bank all or part of the amount. Microfinance banks have always borne the burden alone, but this may not continue in future as the banks may be unable to take the risk of lending more but when eventually they do, they would seek the best way they come out of the risk with a realistic reward which they are clearly failing to achieve at present.
1.3 THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF THIS STUDY
To determine and appraise the credit control and debt collection policy of Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigerian plc as a case study-with a view to highlighting the effectiveness and adequacy or otherwise the credit control policy of Nigerian banks in reducing the occurrence and consequences of bad debts.
The other objectives are:
(i) To highlight the rate at which inadequate collateral security provision by borrowers increases the incidences of bad debt in Nigerian.
(ii) To determine whether fund diversion has any effect on bad debt of microfinance banks in Nigerian.
(iii) To ascertain the extent to which government intervention in lending policies of microfinance banks has influenced bad debts in Nigerian microfinance banks.
(iv) To highlight the extent to which improper project evaluation influence bad debt of microfinance banks in Nigerian.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In view of the consequences of bad debt in Nigerian microfinance banks,it isneccessary to formulate some research question which will enable the researcher formulate statistical tables for testing hypothesis.
- Does inadequate collateral security provision by borrowers cause bad debt in Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigeria plc?
- Does fund diversion have any effect on bad debt of Lapo microfinancebank of Nigeria Plc?
- To what extent has government intervention in lending policies of microfinance bank influenced bad debt in Lapo?
- To what extent does improper project evaluation influenced bad debt of microfinance bank of Nigeria plc?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following hypothesis were drawn as follows.
- Ho: inadequate collateral provisions by borrowers does not increase the incidence of bad debt in Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigeria plc.
Hi: Inadequate collateral provisions by borrowers increases the incidence of bad debt in Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigeria.
- Ho: Fund diversion does not affect bad debt in Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigeria
Hi: Fund diversion affects bad debts in Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigeria Plc.
- Ho: Government intervention in lending policies of Microfinance Banks
has no influence on Microfinance Bank of Nigeria Plc bad debt.
Hi: Government intervention in lending policies of Microfinance
banks have direct influence on Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigeria Plc,bad debt.
- Ho: improper project evaluation has no significant relationship with bad debt inLapo Microfinance bank of Nigeria plc.
Hi: improper project evaluation has direct relationship with bad debt in Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigeria plc.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hardly an exaggeration that the difference between the success and the failure in the banking industry is in the effective management of the banks loans.Efficient loan management is vital to the protection of assets and the achievements of adequate returns to investment.Though much work abound in the literature of the techique of lending,the methods of securing such lending and the pitfalls that await the unwary banker.By comparison it appears to be very little in point on the subject of loan management and recovery.
A study of this subject will therefore be a welcome addition to the existing volume of banking literature.
Effective loan management recognized that beyond the application of sound banking principles whenever a loan is made,there is need for urgency in appreciating the point when a loan begins to look doubtful,in arriving at a decision as to the appropriate action and in taking that action.This will enable the bank to at least obtain full payment including accrued interest or at worst to mitigate the capital loss in the face of increased competition among banks,future profits are likely to be harder to come by and since bad debts are a charge against profits,it is appropriate that we review the methods,proportions and margins of lending to bad and doubtful debts.
Hence the significance of this study to bankers will enable them to appreciate an appraisal of their lending and control mechanism now that they are expected to lend under tight monetary conditions.The economy as a whole will benefit from the study because if the level of bad debts is reduced,banks will be left with more profits to enable them make the expected contributions to the development of the economy.
1.7 THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY
In the study of credit control in Nigeria,Microfinance Bank of Nigeria Plc was used for my analysis.All references therefore relate to Lapo Microfinance bank of Nigeria plc.
A Six-year period covering 1988-1993 will be studied.
1.8 THE LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The limitations of this study include some of unavoidable constraints and problems encountered in the process.They are as follows:
i) FINANCE: The problem of finance was not left out in the course of research to this study. This type of study required adequate money and time to enable the researcher visit the necesssary places for collection of data.Insufficient fund hindered an in-depth study of this research since it was financed from meager pocket money of the researcher.
ii) NON-AVAILABILITY OF RECORDS: This is one of the most important limiting factors in the course of the study.This includes the problems of easily getting the appropriate data due to bureaucracy which hinders the information flow in the country.
iii) NON-CHALLANT ATTITUDE OF BANK OFFICIALS: The reluctance of bank officials to reveal information on the need for this study,for fear of breach of duty of secrecy to customers exposure of banks administrative short-comings.
iv) IGNORANCE OF RESPONDENT /BORROWERS: Most bank customers were semi-illiterates and most often it was very difficult to collect adequate data required from them.
v) TIME: Since this study is one of the many courses offered by the researcher,the researcher was constrained by time to carry out an indent research on the study.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
DEBT: This is what one owes to another person.
LOAN: A Loan is a credit arrangement,a security is pledged and must be repaid with interest over a stipulated period of time.
OVERDRAFT: This is a credit arrangement by banks to their customer to withdraw money over and above that what he has in the account.
DEFAULT: This means failure to pay one´s debt for credit extended which has fallen due.
HYPOTHESIS: This is a tentative statement of conclusion.It is a statement of claim which is to be proved right or wrong having been confirmed with facts.
Ho: Null Hypothesis: the hypothesis that is being tested.
Hi: Alternative Hypothesis: the hypothesis that will be accepted if the null hypothesis is rejected.