Alternative profit scorecards for revolving credit
Sanchez Barrios, Luis Javier
Sanchez, Luis Javier
Barrios, Luis Javier Barrios
The aim of this PhD project is to design profit scorecards for a revolving credit using alternative measures of profit that have not been considered in previous research. The data set consists of customers from a lending institution that grants credit to those that are usually financially excluded due to the lack of previous credit records. The study presents for the first time a relative profit measure (i.e.: returns) for scoring purposes and compares results with those obtained from usual monetary profit scores both in cumulative and average terms. Such relative measure can be interpreted as the productivity per customer in generating cash flows per monetary unit invested in receivables. Alternatively, it is the coverage against default if the lender discontinues operations at time t. At an exploratory level, results show that granting credit to financially excluded customers is a profitable business. Moreover, defaulters are not necessarily unprofitable; in average the profits generated by profitable defaulters exceed the losses generated by certain non-defaulters. Therefore, it makes sense to design profit (return) scorecards. It is shown through different methods that it makes a difference to use alternative profit measures for scoring purposes. At a customer level, using either profits or returns alters the chances of being accepted for credit. At a portfolio level, in the long term, productivity (coverage against default) is traded off if profits are used instead of returns. Additionally, using cumulative or average measures implies a trade off between the scope of the credit programme and customer productivity (coverage against default). The study also contributes to the ongoing debate of using direct and indirect prediction methods to produce not only profit but also return scorecards. Direct scores were obtained from borrower attributes, whilst indirect scores were predicted using the estimated probabilities of default and repurchase; OLS was used in both cases. Direct models outperformed indirect models. Results show that it is possible to identify customers that are profitable both in monetary and relative terms. The best performing indirect model used the probabilities of default at t=12 months and of repurchase in t=12, 30 months as predictors. This agrees with banking practices and confirms the significance of the long term perspective for revolving credit. Return scores would be preferred under more conservative standpoints towards default because of unstable conditions and if the aim is to penetrate relatively unknown segments. Further ethical considerations justify their use in an inclusive lending context. Qualitative data was used to contextualise results from quantitative models, where appropriate. This is particularly important in the microlending industry, where analysts’ market knowledge is important to complement results from scorecards for credit granting purposes. Finally, this is the first study that formally defines time-to-profit and uses it for scoring purposes. Such event occurs when the cumulative return exceeds one. It is the point in time when customers are exceedingly productive or alternatively when they are completely covered against default, regardless of future payments. A generic time-to-profit application scorecard was obtained by applying the discrete version of Cox model to borrowers’ attributes. Compared with OLS results, portfolio coverage against default was improved. A set of segmented models predicted time-to-profit for different loan durations. Results show that loan duration has a major effect on time-to-profit. Furthermore, inclusive lending programmes can generate internal funds to foster their growth. This provides useful insight for investment planning objectives in inclusive lending programmes such as the one under analysis.