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by guest blogger Richard Hartung

In late January, 21 enthusiastic participants joined BankersLab trainers Pauline Tee and Richard Hartung for the third segment of Building & Managing Retail Lending Products training in Myanmar.

After a short refresher covering the previous two training sessions, participants plunged into learning about and discussing portfolio performance management, credit assessment, and using scorecards to evaluate applications.

Along with listening to the instructors and hearing their stories about how they had put the concepts into action in their previous roles, the participants had plenty of opportunities to practice what they learned. There was also robust competition in a Jeopardy-style game, where participants gained points by answering multiple-choice questions about credit correctly and the winning team enjoyed delicious chocolates.

The group exercises during the course enable participants to practice what they learned so that they could use their newfound knowledge better when they returned to the office after the course. In the hands-on exercise on credit scoring, for example, participants evaluated applicants who were applying for loans. While there was a consensus that a teacher deserved a loan, views were widely split over whether a bank should extend a loan to a car dealer or an insurance salesman. Participants were perhaps especially surprised to see the power of scoring models, as they counter-intuitively found out that people in their forties who had good jobs and might seem to have less risk due to their longer time in the workplace as well as higher salary could actually be higher credit risks than people in their thirties. Another exercise had participants calculating ratios for a P&L statement.

Another benefit was, of course, the networking. Over breaks and lunch participants and the instructors alike took time to get to know each other, and for the participants those contacts will likely be invaluable.

At the end of the course, participants agreed that they had learned tremendous amounts and would be able to do their job better. “I could compile necessary MIS reports to track for the performance now,” one said, while another said “innovative ways to tackle out the participants understanding on the subject” were especially valuable.

Notes from the Field: Building Better Banks in Myanmar – Part 1 in a Series