Main Article Content
Non-Performing Loans, Small And Medium Enterprises, Commercial Banks, Microeconomic Factors, Pakistan
The empirical study was undertaken to explore the determinants of non-performing loans (NPLs) of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector held by the commercial banks. Stratified sampling technique was used to collect primary data through well-structured survey questionnaire from credit analysts / bankers of 42 branches of 9 commercial banks, operating in the district of Lahore (Pakistan), for 2014-2015. Selective descriptive analysis and Pearson chi-square technique were used to illustrate and evaluate the significance of different variables affecting NPLs. Branch age, duration of the loan, and credit policy were found to be significant determinants of NPLs. The study proposes that bank-specific and SME-specific microeconomic variables directly influence NPLs, while macroeconomic factors act as intermediary variables. The results elaborate various origins of NPLs and suggest that they are primarily instigated by the loan sanctioning procedure of the financial institution. The paper also underlines the risk management practices adopted by the bank at branch level to averse the risk of loan default. Empirical investigation of bank-specific microeconomic factors of NPLs with respect to Pakistan’s economy is the novelty of the study. Broader strategic policy implications are provided for credit analysts and entrepreneurs.