Provision For Credit Losses - PCL

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Provision For Credit Losses - PCL'

In accounting, an estimation of potential losses that a company might experience due to credit risk. Provision for credit losses is an estimated amount to be lost and is treated as an expense on the company's financial statements. Companies that engage in lending activities determine the provision for credit losses based on statistics that define the likelihood that debt will be recovered.

BREAKING DOWN 'Provision For Credit Losses - PCL'

The provision for credit losses is a means for financial institutions to account for expected losses from delinquent and bad debt. Based on historical statistics, a financial institution can make estimates regarding the amount of loans or other credit that is likely to become default and unsatisfied (default probability). If, for example, the company calculates that accounts over 90 days past due have a recovery rate of 40%, they can make a provision for credit losses based on 40% of the balance of these accounts.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Problem Loan Ratio

    A ratio in the banking industry that denotes the percentage of ...
  2. Default Probability

    The degree of likelihood that the borrower of a loan or debt ...
  3. Bad Debt

    A debt that is not collectible and therefore worthless to the ...
  4. Credit Risk

    The risk of loss of principal or loss of a financial reward stemming ...
  5. Allowance For Bad Debt

    A valuation account used to estimate the portion of a bank's ...
  6. Bad Debt Reserve

    An account set aside by a company to account for and offset losses ...
Related Articles
  1. Insurance

    Credit Default Swaps: What Happens In A Credit Event?

    The credit crisis of 2008 prompted important changes to the settlement of credit default swaps.
  2. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Credit Default Swaps: An Introduction

    This derivative can help manage portfolio risk, but it isn't a simple vehicle.
  3. Personal Finance

    The Debt Ratings Debate

    Lack of competition and potential conflicts of interest have called the value of these ratings into question.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Why Hedge Funds Love Distressed Debt

    When hedge funds buy up bonds from bankrupt companies, should investors follow suit?
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Financial Institutions: Stretched Too Thin?

    Find out how to evaluate a firm's loan portfolio to determine its financial health.
  6. Investing Basics

    What's Current Portion of Long-Term Debt?

    The current portion of long-term debt is the part of a company’s long-term debt that must be repaid within the next year.
  7. Economics

    Explaining Cost Control

    For a business, cost control entails managing and reducing expenses.
  8. Economics

    Explaining Accounting Conservatism

    Accounting conservatism is a principal that requires accounting rules be applied with high degrees of verification.
  9. Term

    What are Non-GAAP Earnings?

    Non-GAAP earnings are a company’s earnings that are not reported according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    Calculating Return on Net Assets

    Return on net assets measures a company’s financial performance.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

    Dividends paid in cash affect a company's balance sheet by decreasing the company's cash account on the asset side and decreasing ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are dividends considered an expense?

    Cash or stock dividends distributed to shareholders are not considered an expense on a company's income statement. Stock ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do dividends go on the balance sheet?

    The only account recorded on the balance sheet, when dividends are declared and before they are paid out to a company's shareholders, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are some examples of general and administrative expenses?

    In accounting, general and administrative expenses represent the necessary costs to maintain a company's daily operations ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do dividend distributions affect additional paid in capital?

    Whether a dividend distribution has any effect on additional paid-in capital depends solely on what type of dividend is issued: ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why can additional paid in capital never have a negative balance?

    The additional paid-in capital figure on a company's balance sheet can never be negative because companies do not pay investors ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Depreciation

    1. A method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life. Businesses depreciate long-term assets for both ...
  2. Recession

    A significant decline in activity across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. It is visible in industrial production, ...
  3. Bubble Theory

    A school of thought that believes that the prices of assets can temporarily rise far above their true values and that these ...
  4. Stock Market Crash

    A rapid and often unanticipated drop in stock prices. A stock market crash can be the result of major catastrophic events, ...
  5. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  6. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!