SME Banking: Products & Services, Sales & Credit

Euromoney Learning Solutions

How long?

  • 5 days
  • in person

Euromoney Learning Solutions


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About the course

Implement a successful Micro & SME strategy at this 5-day masterclass

In many countries top bankers recognize the vital importance of SME’s to their national economies and their societies. They understand that SME’s are a national priority and wish to contribute to their development. However, these bankers are also well aware that the profitability to banks of SME business varies over a wide range.

Some banks enjoy high profitability while others lose considerable sums. This presents dilemmas to many banks: How much effort to devote to SME business? How to run the business so that there is good change of producing big profits and high profitability? These issues lead to more specific challenges:

  • Choosing the Best Mix of SME Business Segments
  • Developing a Wide range of Products, Services and Packages for SME’s of Different Types
  • Intensifying Selling & Cross-Selling to SME’s
  • Organising for Success in SME Banking
  • Advancing SME Credit Management to the World-Class Standards Operated by Leading Banks
  • Upgrading the Planning & Control of SME Business?
  • Building a Strong Cadre of Skilled & Highly Motivated SME Bankers
  • Exploiting Information Technology in Support of Best-Practice SME Banking

How to deal with these challenges is the focus of this 5-day general management level course. It is based on case histories of successful banks in both emerging and advanced markets around the world.

Why attend this course?

The course explores the best-practice SME banking strategies and management methods adopted by leading banks and how delegates’ banks could upgrade their approaches to these high standards:

  • To practice methodologies for formulating SME strategies for the overall SME market and important sub-segments thereof
  • To provide a comprehensive understanding of the main areas of SME banking in which best-practices are essential for successful strategy implementation in today’s highly competitive SME banking markets
  • To examine best-practices in SME banking as they relate to marketing, selling, cross-selling, service quality and productivity management
  • To review world-class approaches to SME credit risk management, covering credit policies and important credit processes such as SME loan appraisal, pricing, early warning, remedial management, recoveries, portfolio monitoring and management
  • To examine the overall bank and branch network organisation structures adopted by leading banks to facilitate SME banking, in general, and relationship management, in particular
  • To explore how bank strategic planning, action planning, budgeting and financial control systems are focused on to the key performance targets that primarily determine the growth and profitability of SME business
  • To evaluate the modern HR policies and processes that are employed to build the skills and motivation of SME bankers
  • To review how the best banks exploit information technology in SME banking with the aim of boosting business and income, advancing credit management, and increasing cost-effectiveness
  • To assess ways that delegates’ banks could upgrade their own SME banking strategies and management methods to world-class standards

The course is very practical and based on the experiences of many successful banks all over the world. It provides a strong framework for dealing with the complexities of running SME banking at a high level of profitability.


The course is intensive and participative. Various methods are used:

  • Presentations, with discussions, including many real case histories of banks around the world
  • Case studies that illustrate the application of the approaches examined
  • Group work in which delegates discuss improvement priorities for their own banks
  • “Question & Answer” plenary discussions with the course leader

Half of the course timetable is devoted to case studies and group work so that delegates have the chance to exchange perspectives and experience with other delegates and the course leader.


Day 1

Session 1: Introduction to the Course

  • Course Themes, Subjects and Timetable
  • Introduction of Delegates and the Course Leader


Session 2: Definitions by Governments and Banks of SME's

  • The Importance of Having Clear and Agreed Definitions of SME’s
  • Definitions Used in the European Union: Autonomous Enterprises Partner Enterprises Linked Enterprises
  • Definitions Applied in the USA
  • Definitions of SME’s Used by Illustrative Banks Around the World

Session 3: Important Contributions Made by SME’s

  • Provision of Numerous Goods and Services, Many Crucial to Modern Living
  • Provision of Employment, Usually Large in Most Countries
  • Stimulation of Innovation
  • Spurring of Competition
  • Generation of Tax Revenues
  • Common Barriers to the Development of SME Banking

Session 4: World-Class Standards & Examples of SME Banking

  • The Challenge of Achieving High Profitability in SME Banking
  • Main Elements of SME Banking: Key SME Sub-Segments Main Management Functions
  • World-Class Standards of SME Banking
  • Examples of Successful SME Banking
  • Discussion: Priorities for Upgrading SME Banking at Delegates’ Banks


Session 5: Case Histories: Successful SME Marketing Strategies

  • Market Segmentation in Banking
  • The Nature and Contributions of SME Marketing Strategy Focused on Profitability
  • World-Class Standards of SME Marketing Strategy in Leading Banks
  • Examples of “Winning” and “Losing” SME Marketing Strategies
  • How Well-Founded and Executed Marketing Strategies Can Increase Bank Profits by 30%
  • Important Practical Lessons
  • Discussion: Priorities for Upgrading SME Marketing Strategy Across Delegates’ Banks

Session 6: Group Work - Segmenting the SME Markets of Delegates' Banks

  • Choosing and Defining Segments of the SME Market
  • Estimating the Sizes and Contributions of SME Market Segments
  • Technical and Political Barriers to Market Segmentation
  • Practical Steps in Segmenting a Bank’s Whole Customer Base
  • Training Bank Personnel and Customers About Segmentation

Day 2

Session 7: SME Products, Services and Channels Provided by Leading Banks

  • SME Products & Services from Leading European Banks
  • SME Products & Services from Leading Banks in:

  • Russia

  • The Middle East

  • Asia

  • Sub-Segments of the SME Market Being Targeted by Banks

  • The Growing Range of Specialized Channels Used by SME Banks

  • Key Perspectives and Conclusions About Developments in SME Banking

Session 8: Group Work - Setting SME Product & Channels 
Development Priorities for Delegates' Banks

Product & Service Development Priorities, including:

  • Deposit, Savings and Investment Services
  • Loans and Mortgages 
  • Insurance Services 
  • International Banking Services 
  • Business and Support Services
  • Discussion: SME Product Development Priorities for Delegates’ Banks

Sales & Delivery Channels Development Priorities, including:

  • Mobile Sellers Focused on SME’s
  • Tele-Selling to SME’s
  • Dedicated SME Websites
  • Traditional, Non-Segmented Branches
  • Stand-Alone Business Centres for SME’s
  • SME Business Centres Within Dual or Multiple Segment Branches
  • Discussion: SME Channels Development Priorities for Delegates’ Banks

Session 9: Case Study - Formulating a Winning SME Marketing Strategy

  • Defining Mutually-Exclusive Segments of the SME Market
  • Assessing the Attractiveness of SME Market Segments
  • Assessing a Bank’s Competitive Strengths in Different SME Market Segments
  • Setting Development Priorities Across SME Market Segments
  • Specifying Action Plans for Moving Ahead
  • Setting Profit Improvement Targets for Individual SME Market Segments
  • Setting the ROE Target for the Whole SME Customer Base

Session 10: Case Answer - Formulating a Winning SME Marketing Strategy

  • Delegates’ Answers to the Case Study in Session 9
  • Presentation of the Model Answer
  • Discussion About Advancing SME Marketing Strategy at Delegates’ Banks

Session 11: Case History: How One Ambitious Bank Intensified Selling to SMEʼs

  • The Meaning of “True Selling” as Used by World-Class Banks
  • How Selling Intensity Drives Up Cross-Selling and Profitability
  • World-Class Standards of Selling & Cross-Selling
  • Case History: Steps Taken By One Bank That Intensified Greatly Selling to SME’s
  • Impact of Steps Taken on the Bank’s Growth and Profitability

Day 3

Session 12: Group Work - Intensifying Selling to SME's by Delegates' Banks

  • Estimating the Current Selling Intensity Across Delegates’ Banks
  • Increasing the Number of Existing Types of Selling Job
  • Creating New Types of Selling Job
  • Transferring Personnel from Cost-Generating Jobs into Income-Producing Jobs
  • Increasing Selling Time in All Selling Jobs
  • Reengineering Delegates’ Banks to Reach World-Class Standards of Selling Intensity


Session 13: Case History: Building a Successful SME Division

  • Alternative Locations for the SME Division - Pros & Cons:

  • Within Corporate Banking?

  • Within Retail Banking?

  • Divided Between Retail and Corporate Banking?

  • A Separate Division Alongside Retail and Corporate Banking?

  • Organization of Branch-Based Selling

  • Organization of Mobile (Direct) Sales Forces

  • Organization of Product Management

  • Organization of Key Support Functions: Strategic Planning, Marketing & Sales Support, Credit Management, Financial Control, Human Resources Management, IT Liaison

Session 14: Case Study - Segmenting Branches to Boost SME Sales, Service, Productivity & Profitability

  • Information About the Case Study Bank, its Segments and Strategic Options
  • Adjusting Service Quality Levels for SME and Other Market Segments
  • Improving the Ratio of Front to Back Office Staff Across the Network
  • Boosting Branch Selling Intensity
  • Establishing Special Branches for SME’s and Other Key Market Segments
  • Adjusting the Role and Size of Head Office

Session 15: Case Answer - Segmenting Branches to Boost SME Sales, Service, Productivity & Profitability

  • Delegates’ Answers to the Case Study in Session 14
  • Presentation of the Model Answer
  • Discuss About Segmenting the Branch Networks of Delegates’ Banks

Session 16: Best-Practice Relationship Management of SMEʼs

  • The Objectives of Best-Practice SME Relationship Management
  • Choosing Key SME Customers and Organizing Relationship Teams
  • Focusing SME Relationship Managers on to Sales & Service
  • Planning & Controlling Key SME Customer Relationships
  • The “12 Rules” of Best-Practice SME Relationship Management
  • Discussion: Priorities for Upgrading SME Relationship Management in Delegates’ Banks

Session 17: Assessing, Training & Rewarding SME Relationship Managers

  • Performance Appraisal Criteria for SME Relationship Managers
  • Types of Training Provided to SME Relationship Managers by Leading Banks
  • Reward Systems for SME Relationship Managers

Day 4


Session 18: World-Class Standards of SME Credit Risk Management

  • The 250 Elements of SME Credit Risk Management
  • World-Class Standards of SME Credit Risk Management
  • The Credit Risk Assessment Methodology – “CRAM”
  • Case Histories: How Illustrative Banks Became World-Class at SME Credit Management

Session 19: Case Study - Pricing SME Loans - Target-ROE Risk-Adjusted Pricing - “TRAP”

  • Explanation of Target-ROE Risk-Adjusted Pricing of SME Loans
  • Calculating Margins Needed to Meet the Bank’s Target Return on Equity
  • Estimating Margins to Cover Funding and Opportunity Costs
  • Building in Margins to Pay for SME Credit Operating Costs
  • Calculating Margins Needed to Cover SME Bad Debts
  • Adjusting Margins to Exploit Competitive Dominance in SME Banking
  • Discussion About Strengthening SME Loan Pricing at Delegates’ Banks

Session 20: Case Answer - Pricing SME Loans - Target-ROE Risk-Adjusted Pricing

  • Delegates’ Answers to the Case Study in Session 19
  • Presentation of the Model Answer
  • Discussion About Strengthening SME Loan Pricing at Delegates’ Banks

Session 21: Case History: Strengthening SME Credit Management in a Major Bank

  • Changes to Overall Credit Policy
  • Changes to SME Credit Policy
  • Advancements to SME Credit Processes
  • Improvements to the Organization of SME Credit Management
  • Enhancements to SME Credit Training and Certification

Session 22: Group Work - Advancing SME Credit Management in Delegates' Banks

  • Assessment of Important Elements of SME Credit Management at Delegates’ Banks Against World-Class Standards Using the CRAM Methodology (Abbreviated):

SME Credit Policy: Segmentation, Formulation, Documentation, Communication

SME Credit Management Processes, Including Credit Scoring, TRAP Pricing, Loan Applications Processing, Early Warning Systems, Remedial Management & Recoveries, Portfolio Monitoring & Management, and Operating Costs

  • Identification of the Main Improvements Needed to Reach World-Class Standards
  • Development of an Action Plan and Timetable for Reaching the World-Class Standards


Session 23: Case Study - Measuring the Profitability of SME Customer Relationships

  • Understanding the Case Study Bank’s Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Account
  • Assessing Transfer Rates for Defining SME Profitability and Selecting the Best: “Psychological” Transfer Rates Cost-of-Funds, Single Pool and Dual Pool Rates Mark-to-Market Rates
  • Calculating and Attributing ALM Profits: “Gapping” Profits and “Structural” ALM Profits
  • Calculating and Attributing SME Customer Profits: Deposit Profits, Lending Profits
  • Restructuring the Case Study Bank’s Balance Sheet to Balance Profits and Risks

Day 5

Session 24: Case Answer – Measuring the Profitability of SME Customer Relationships
 * Delegates’ Answers to the Case Study in Session 23 * Presentation of the Model Answer * Discussion About Upgrading SME Profitability Measurement at Delegates’ Banks

Session 25: Case History: How One Bank Boosted the Profitability of SME Business Greatly

  • Introduction to the Case History Bank
  • Best-Practice Calculation of SME Banking Profitability
  • The “Drivers” of SME Banking Profitability
  • Impact on SME Profitability of Individual Best-Practices
  • Impact on SME Profitability of Combined Best-Practices
  • Priority Actions for Boosting SME Banking Profitability 

Session 26: Focusing Bank Planning & Control on to SME's

  • Overview of SME-Focused Planning & Control
  • Building Superiority with Strategic Planning
  • Action Planning: Translating Strategy into Practical Action
  • SME-Focused Budgeting, Financial Control and Key Performance Targets
  • SME-Focused Performance Appraisal
  • Key Challenges to Overcome
  • Examples of World-Class SME Planning & Control Systems
  • Discussion: Establishing Best-Practice SME Planning and Control at Delegates’ Banks

Session 27: Group Work - Setting Key Performance Targets for SME Banking

  • Measuring SME Profitability Success
  • Tracking Selling Success
  • Controlling Cost-Effectiveness
  • Monitoring SME Bad Debt Performance
  • Assessing Adherence to Policies and Procedures
  • Determining SME Customer Satisfaction
  • Appraising Development of Human Resources 


Session 28: Group Work – Priorities for Developing SME Banking in Delegatesʼ Banks

  • Setting Priorities for Establishing SME Best-Practices
  • Defining the Actions to be Taken
  • Proposing Timetables for Moving Ahead

Session 29: Summary of the Course

  • Presentation of Certificates
  • Closure of the Course


Chris Batt

Chris Batt has extensive experience of helping banks to boost profitability. He is an internationally-recognised authority in advising the owners, boards and top management teams of leading banks and other financial institutions, worldwide. He has worked with over 160 banks and other financial in...

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SME Banking: Products & Services, Sales & Credit at Euromoney Learning Solutions

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