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Borrower Analysis: Qualitative Factors

Course Overview

The first step in the lending decision process is to understand the prospective borrower’s business and how the economy and industry in which it operates affect its financial requirements. The Borrower Analysis – Qualitative Factors course will prepare participants to determine if they should pursue credit opportunities with a prospective borrower.


4 to 6 hours


Self-Directed Online

Program Level




Participants are encouraged, but not required, to complete The Business of Commercial Banking and Ethics and Decision Making prior to taking this course.


Who Will Benefit?

Credit or lending professionals who need to evaluate the creditworthiness of a prospective borrower


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Interpret key success elements in the company’s industry.
  • Explain cycles that influence the company’s viability (economic cycle, industry, company, and product lifecycles) and interpret their effect on company asset acquisition and operating cycles.
  • Explain and interpret the impact of key industry and other external (industry structure and environmental, regulatory, international, and political) factors.
  • Prepare a company overview of products, services, customers, suppliers, facilities, management organization, ownership, and history.
  • Appraise the company’s likelihood of success, considering prior risk mitigation, competitive advantages, management qualifications, and effectiveness of business strategies.
  • Appraise depth and breadth of management skills, experience, and organization.


RMA understands that adults learn best by doing. Using targeted lessons, job aids, and a case file, participants will:

  • Apply the Porter model to analyze the competitive forces in an industry and gauge the degree of difficulty a company may have in seeking to compete successfully in its industry.
  • Assess the impact economic cycles and conditions can have on a business.
  • Study the financial behavior of industries, products, and companies through their life cycles.
  • Determine related financing needs based on a review of the relationship between a company’s industry, business, and product life cycles and its operating and asset acquisition cycles.
  • Develop a company overview, assess business strategy, and evaluate management adequacy.

Participants have a wide range of financial backgrounds and everyone learns at their own pace. Participants will have opportunities to advance through the course following the pathway that best meets their needs. Each section of the course is designed to mimic workplace application of knowledge and skills to promote learning transfer to the workplace. For example, an onscreen mentor will model the use of an Industry Forces Checklist to complete an analysis of Absorb-It, Inc. Later in the course, participants apply the lessons learned to do their own industry forces analysis of ILS, Inc.

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