Breaking Into Banking


An online or in-bank program to introduce commercial bankers to the key concepts, terminology, and processes involved in credit and lending.

Course Objective

To introduce commercial bankers to the key concepts, terminology, and
processes involved in credit and lending

Target Audience

New credit analysts, lenders, and underwriters, as well as banking employees
who don’t do credit analysis but need a working knowledge of the process


  • In-person workshops: Typically 1 day; includes 6 hours of facilitation, plus breaks
  • Online:
    • Breaking into Banking 101: Ten pre-recorded 30-minute video modules; total of five hours
    • Breaking into Banking 201: Nine pre-recorded 20-minute video modules; total of 3 hours

Breaking into banking 101 Course Modules

  1. The Business of Banking
    • Why customer relationships matter
    • Identifying and managing risk
    • Net interest income vs. fee income
  2. Why Businesses Borrow Money
    • Working capital financing
    • Real estate and capital expenditures
    • Start-ups, buyouts, bridge loans, and losses
  3. The Art of Underwriting – Part I
    • Industry considerations
    • Life cycle stages of your borrower
    • Analyzing quality of management
  4. The Art of Underwriting – Part II
    • Four levels of quantitative analysis
    • Balance sheet: liquidity and leverage
    • Income statement: margins and coverage
  5. Loan Structuring – Part I
    • Types of loan facilities
    • How loan pricing really works
    • Tenor and amortization
  6. Loan Structuring – Part II
    • Analyzing your collateral
    • What loan covenants do for you
    • The value of guarantees
  7. The Credit Approval Process
    • Courtship and the “life of a loan”
    • Selling the deal twice – bank and customer
    • Loan documentation
  8. Loan and Portfolio Monitoring
    • Understanding “Expected loss”
    • Loan grading – regulatory definitions
    • Asset performance and loan loss provisions
  9. The Complex Lending Machine
    • Internal relationships
    • Introduction to twelve key banking groups
    • Critical partnership: Credit and Lending
  10. Test Drive Your Job
    • A day in the life of a credit analyst
    • Prerequisite traits for success
    • Career advice and how to love your job

Breaking into banking 201 Course Modules

  1. Introduction and Overview
    • Outline of course objectives and topics
    • Understanding primary and secondary repayment sources
    • Why banks need accurate loan data to estimate credit losses
  2. Balance Sheet Analysis, Part I – Analyzing Liquidity
    • Better definitions of assets, liabilities, and equity
    • Measuring liquidity: beyond formulas and ratios
    • Quality of current assets
  3. Balance Sheet Analysis, Part II – Analyzing Leverage
    • The difference between debt and equity
    • How to measure leverage
    • Highly leveraged lending
  4. Income Statement Analysis, Part I – Revenues and Profit Margins
    • Analyzing revenues: growth and drivers
    • Keys to analyzing gross margin and operating margin
    • Why return on Assets matters
  5. Income Statement Analysis, Part II – Coverage Ratios
    • Explanation of fixed charges
    • EBITDA as a proxy for cash flow
    • Measuring debt service coverage and fixed charge coverage
  6. Collateral Analysis, Part I – Non-Current Assets
    • Why bankers need a back-up plan
    • Commercial real estate as collateral
    • How to evaluate fixed assets
  7. Collateral Analysis, Part II – Trading Assets
    • Understanding self-liquidating collateral
    • How to assess the value of inventory
    • Analyzing a borrowers Accounts Receivable
  8. Collateral Analysis, Part III – Solving the Problems
    • Understanding Accounts Receivable Aging reports
    • Borrowing base formulas and certificates
    • Unsecured and under-secured loans
  9. Risk Ratings, Expected Loss, and Provision for Credit Losses
    • Assessing an obligor’s likelihood of repayment
    • Dual risk ratings and expected loss
    • Provision for Credit Losses and why it matters

About the Instructor

Andy Keusal is passionate about using his teaching gift to help others reach their God-given potential. He spent eighteen years in commercial banking, during which he interviewed, hired, and trained hundreds of new bankers. He also helped build and run one of the nation’s premier credit training programs at a large Midwest regional bank. He left his corporate career in 2015 to found Keusal Learning, where he now helps people master the basics of banking. Many of his trainees have moved on to prosperous careers in banking, private equity, and even business ownership.

As a husband and father of ten children, Andy devotes much of his time and energy to helping his wife Andrea educate their nine children still living at home. Whether at home or in the workplace, Andy has a knack for making complex things simple, using humor and a comfortable presentation style to communicate with his audience. He is the author of the popular book, “Breaking into Banking: Cracking the Code on Launching a Successful Career in Commercial Banking,” and the creator and facilitator of the video course by the same name.

More about this program

To Register

  • For an in-person workshop at your bank, please contact Walt Lyons.
  • For the online video course:
    • Click here to purchase Breaking into Banking 101 or Breaking into Banking 201.
    • Click here to purchase Breaking into Banking 201.