First Discount House (FDH) is a wholly owned subsidiary of FDH Financial Holdings Limited and was licensed as a discount house by the Reserve Bank of Malawi on 20 July 2001. First Discount House is currently the only Discount House in Malawi. Operational since April 2002, the company has grown into one of the strongest and most reliable Financial Services Houses in the country. Bank has an asset size of around 112 million USD.

Implementation of SMERATE


Malawi doesn’t have any external rating agency which provides customer rating to banks. Basel II implementation at Malawi, required banks to have an internal rating of its customers. Bank also wanted to bring an efficient loan proposal sanction process which will cater the process from proposal request, to rating till approval. This will bring down operational risk involved in proposal sanction process.


Developing a rating model for different types of customers is challenging due to unavailability of data for various type of customers. Manual processing and sanction of proposal usually takes many days as the document has to flow from remote branches to credit officer in the head office. Customer ratings were done manually and were not uniformly maintained for same type of customers


Customer scoring model (SMERate) of Surya allows customer rating based on both qualitative and quantitative parameters. System allows to build multiple scoring models in the system and different types of customers can be rated using the different models. System can be setup to have credit work flow during the sanctions of credit proposals.

A Brief on SMERATE implementation

Surya implemented SMERate along with its work flow engine in FDH. Capturing of customer rating input parameters are automated and are fed into the system when proposals are received. In addition to entry of customer, system also provided facility for the branches to upload original documents submitted by the customers and provide easy audit facility by credit offers.

Surya also helped bank to do one time rating of all its existing customers through a migration process during implementation.


  • System brought efficiency in processing of proposals of both existing customers and new customers.
  • Customer rating mechanism is standardized and hence brings uniformity and allows bank to take better decision
  • All the supporting document for a sanctions are upload against the proposal and auditing became hassle free.
  • Better control on the sanctions, as high volume sanctions are configured to have multi-level approval in the workflow.

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