Machine Learning in credit risk : Evaluation of supervised machine learning models predicting credit risk in the financial sector

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för matematik och matematisk statistik; Umeå universitet/Institutionen för matematik och matematisk statistik

Abstract: When banks lend money to another party they face a risk that the borrower will not fulfill its obligation towards the bank. This risk is called credit risk and it’s the largest risk banks faces. According to the Basel accord banks need to have a certain amount of capital requirements to protect themselves towards future financial crisis. This amount is calculated for each loan with an attached risk-weighted asset, RWA. The main parameters in RWA is probability of default and loss given default. Banks are today allowed to use their own internal models to calculate these parameters. Thus hold capital with no gained interest is a great cost, banks seek to find tools to better predict probability of default to lower the capital requirement. Machine learning and supervised algorithms such as Logistic regression, Neural network, Decision tree and Random Forest can be used to decide credit risk. By training algorithms on historical data with known results the parameter probability of default (PD) can be determined with a higher certainty degree compared to traditional models, leading to a lower capital requirement. On the given data set in this article Logistic regression seems to be the algorithm with highest accuracy of classifying customer into right category. However, it classifies a lot of people as false positive meaning the model thinks a customer will honour its obligation but in fact the customer defaults. Doing this comes with a great cost for the banks. Through implementing a cost function to minimize this error, we found that the Neural network has the lowest false positive rate and will therefore be the model that is best suited for this specific classification task.

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