Head of Credit Review Head of Credit Review …

in Manama, Capital Governorate, Bahrain
Permanent, Full time
Last application, 26 Aug 19
in Manama, Capital Governorate, Bahrain
Permanent, Full time
Last application, 26 Aug 19
Job description:
  • The Head of Credit Review is an independent specialized 2nd line of defense role that is responsible for the governance, oversight, development, execution and management of:
  • A robust Assets Quality Review (“AQR”) program that provides an objective and independent evaluation of the financial integrity of Group’s credit portfolio (US$ 25 Billion), soundness of the credit processes that are followed under individual credit transactions and subsequently incorporates findings and recommendations into AQR reports which are distributed and presented to the Group Executive Management and the Board Audit Committee
  • Delivering focused review services pertaining to the assets quality in the credit portfolio through effective monitoring and review of the credit environment, processes and related developments, identification of potential weaknesses and emerging trends coupled with ensuring compliance with Group Credit policy, and transaction specific credit approval terms and conditions throughout the life of the credit facility.
  • Affirming and challenging the integrity of the risk rating assigned to assets in the Bank’s portfolio.
  • Developing a highly skilled, proactive and motivated credit quality review team to maintain high standards of risk assessment and appraisal as per the AQR program.

Principal Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Deliverables of Role:

Day to day:

  • Develop and execute a robust AQR program, including scope of review coverage, and documenting associated processes and procedures. In addition, periodically review all components for potential enhancements and to ensure continued suitability for the Group.
  • Lead scheduled and event triggered credit quality monitoring reviews on specific credit facilities/ client relationships, which encompasses site visits and the assessment and may comment upon the following:
    • Adherence to credit policies, procedures, methodologies, approach and systems used in credit risk management and recommend implementation of corrective actions as considered appropriate.     
    • Adherence to credit covenants, undertakings and other terms and conditions of a credit facility.
    • Adherence to margining requirements for security (collateral) held to ensure values do not fall below set thresholds and call for security enhancement or top-up as necessary.
    • Financial and operational performance of the borrower (s), including potential for loss and other qualitative attributes.
    • Risk rating review and validation accompanied with detailed rationale, particularly when recommending differing and/or adverse risk ratings.
    • Impact of trigger-events and other existing or emerging risks pertinent to the Group’s credit portfolio, including country, industry and sector developments.
  • Lead scheduled and event triggered credit portfolio reviews based on risk and/or size of all credit types (i.e project & structured finance, transaction banking, real estate, corporate & FI lending, corporate treasury, financial markets, capital markets, retail etc.). The reviews shall at minimum cover:
    • Asset quality reviews – appraisal of the conduct and profitability of individual credit facilities; analysis of the borrower’s financial statements, including potential for loss and other qualitative attributes; risk rating review and validation accompanied with detailed rationale, particularly when recommending differing and/or adverse risk ratings.
    • Credit approval process review – examining the approval process, including loan structure, quality and accuracy of underwriting, identification of key risks, pre-assessment, evaluation of credit approval, disbursement, and credit administration.
    • Administrative and documentation review – verifying the existence and adequacy of the documents associated with credit facility files, including completeness of credit grading and accuracy of loan grades assigned by credit officers.
    • Collateral (security) review – physical check of all security and loan documents, confirmation of registration status, assessment of the value and enforceability of collateral.
    • Compliance review – compliance with internal policies and procedures including mandate requirements and adherence to loan covenants.
    • Portfolio specific- Identify and evaluates portfolio trends with respect to delinquency, bankruptcy, demographics and other relevant factors to identify problem loans.
  • Provide suggestions/recommendation for changes/updates/revisions to the Group credit policy.
  • Assess problem loan management / workout plan effectiveness and watch list guidelines.
  • Leverage available data and analytical tools during the planning, fieldwork and reporting phases of AQR delivery. (i.e. external/ internal information data for fieldwork).
  • Responsible for ensuring all issues arising from credit quality monitoring and credit portfolio reviews are vetted by both the credit risk department and respective lines of business. Subsequently, agree on recommendations for remediation to confirm that they are actionable and appropriate.
  • Monitor portfolio diversification in accordance with policy guidance, risk appetite and strategic plan.
  • Accountable for updating the Global Head of Assets Review, the Group Deputy CEO and the Board Audit Committee regarding scope, status and issues vis-à-vis AQR assignments.
  • Participate in preparing and reviewing the draft terms of reference for AQR engagements coupled with providing oversight, direction and expertise to ensure work performed is within established requirements and appropriate resource allocation for timely completion of the assurance assignment.
  • Assess, sign- off and submit accurate and timely issue sheets and AQR reports comprising of an executive Summary & supporting analysis highlighting performance against defined credit quality parameters for each review on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual basis for Management, and relevant Board committees.
  • Represent the Credit Assets Review Unit in internal and external meetings and committees.
  • Lead assigned special projects at the behest of the Global Head of Assets Quality Review, Group CEO or Deputy Group CEO.
  • Maintain high level relationships with industry associations and AQR heads of peer organizations to enhance capacity building and benchmarking of best-practices, executing joint projects to address shared risks and concerns, developing outlines of new methodologies and frameworks, keeping abreast with regulatory expectations etc.

Staff management and training:

  • Ensure the development and training of all direct subordinates. Where appropriate, advise on the development of training and educational programs across the bank’s three lines of defence on matters of credit quality review best practice.
  • Develop a motivated and cohesive AQR function with clear team and individual development objectives.
  • Monitor day to day, management of staff and work allocation and prepare performance appraisals for direct subordinates.
  • To act as a role model for business values and leadership behavior.

Internal and Intra-Group Communications:

  • Maintain close working relationships with the Group Head of Assets Quality Review, the Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Group and subsidiary Senior Management to achieve the Bank’s AQR objectives.
  • Maintain effective working relationships with the Group Chief Credit & Risk Officer, Group Chief Credit Officer, Group Chief Auditor and other executives within the Group’s Head Office, i.e. Head of Wholesale Banking Coverage, Global Business Heads and Group Treasurer to maintain awareness of business activity and new products/ developments.

Job Context (Circumstances & environment surrounding the job):

The Assets Quality Review team is a key function that provides an objective appraisal to the quality of the Bank’s credit portfolio and applications for credit in order to identify potential assets deterioration/ problems and ensure compliance with established Group credit policy and applicable regulations in the multiple jurisdictions the Group operates in.

Given the nature of the role within the business, the job holder is expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity and confidentiality at all times. The volume, importance and confidentiality of the material with which the job holder will deal with will require a strong sense of discretion and the ability to organize and present material in a cogent way.

The Head of Credit Review shall liaise with individuals at all levels within the organization, including Executive Management and Board members. The job holder will be required to conduct all interactions with courtesy, respect and professionalism.

Job Requirements:


  • Subject matter expert on lending with respect to the Credit Risk Management framework processes and methodologies (Corporate, FI’s, SMEs and Retail) including:
    • Credit Risk and Cash Flow analysis (key quantitative and qualitative aspects);             
    • Facility structures and legal aspects;
    • Credit Risk rating methodologies;
    • Portfolio Management;
    • Credit Administration;
    • Credit Problem Management;
    • Collateral Management;
    • Capital requirements for credit risk and RAROC/ RAPM;
    • Product structures; and
    • Single name/ country sector risk management.
  • Strong understanding of corporate governance.
  • Broad knowledge of applicable statutes, laws and regulations that govern banking and lending activities in countries that the Group operates in.
  • Excellent spoken and written English and Arabic language skills. French and or Portuguese are a definite plus.
  • Risk based Credit review techniques.
  • Thorough understanding of Credit risk mitigations and financing mechanisms including structured trade finance, project finance, and syndications.
  • Regulatory environment under which banks are operating.
  • Risk Management and support functions.

Education / Certifications

  • University Degree and Professional Qualification in finance, banking, accounting, business, audit or risk management.


  • Minimum 15 years within Banking and a preference for at least 7 years internal audit or assets quality review experience.
  • Proven experience in the identification of risks and controls related to Credit Risk Management (Quality and Credit Processes) including exposure to different Credit Risk methodologies (Moody’s Risk Analyst is desirable).
  • Familiarity with and exposure to different audit methodologies and with workflow-based audit software.
  • Development and delivery of presentations to senior individuals.