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Certified Expert in NPL Management & Investment

Non-Performing Loan Management and Investment

Following the current recession caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, banks, regulators and investors will need to tackle record amounts of private sector debt, and a fresh wave of non-performing loans (NPLs). Once state support comes to an end, this could present an even more serious challenge for banks than in past crises, as the present recession extends across most sectors and economies.

This course will equip you with all necessary skills to manage private sector debt workouts and loan defaults. You will learn to recognise debt distress among households and enterprises, to design best-practice restructuring solutions that return borrowers to financial viability, and to navigate an insolvency process where this becomes inevitable.

Two different learning alternatives will be offered for this course:

  • The Regular Course
  • The Premium Course

Regular Package

The regular learning track will give you access to: 

  • An interactive e-learning course made up of 10 learning units, including video lectures, PDF scripts, examples, practical exercises, online tests and case studies
  • A discussion forum for course related issues as well as for exchange of opinions and experiences with peers, tutors and the FSDF e-Campus team
  • Personalized support from your e-Campus team
  • Possibility to achieve a Frankfurt School certificate after passing the final exam or a confirmation of course completion after completing the course.

Tuition Fees*

Registration Date


Regular before Jan. 15th, 2022

Regular after Jan. 15th, 2022 1550*
Premium before Jan. 15th, 2022 2550*
Premium after Jan. 15th, 2022 2750*

Each 90-min live session can be booked individually, for EUR 250, if the regular programme is chosen.

Final exam fee: An additional final exam fee will be charged for the second and third final exam attempt


  • 10% group discount (for 2 or mre participants working for the same institution, informed to us before by an email)
  • 10% for FS Alumni
  • for company package discounts, please contact us

Payment Options

  • Bank Transfer (bank fees to be covered by participants)
  • Credit Card
  • PayPal

Payment in instalments is unfortunately not possible.

*Subject to change


Course Start Course End

Sept. 1

Feb. 28

Mar. 1 Aug. 31
Registration Date Early Bird
Jun. 1 - Sep. 30 By Jul. 15
Dec. 1 - Mar. 31 By Jan. 31

Live session dates to be announced.

Premium Package

In addition to the material and discussion forum included in the Regular track, you will attend 8 live sessions moderated by the renowned lecturer, Dr Alexander Lehmann, as well as multiple expert guest expert speakers. 

These live sessions will provide you with a deeper understanding of distressed loan resolution and recent market and regulatory trends. You will also have the opportunity to exchange ideas experts in the field and participate in highly informative and engaging discussions. Guest speakers include restructuring advisors, EU law firms, representatives from major European banks and EU central banks.

*Subject to minimum of 10 registrations

Please note, the premium package is not available for the September 2021 intake.

Target Audience

Bank management and staff, financial supervisors, and investors who are working on developing a strategy for managing distressed loans and NPLs. All who need to develop a comprehensive understanding of recent regulations, and the institutions and legal context that will govern NPL management and debt restructuring. Consultants and other insolvency professionals will also benefit, as on the basis of this course they will command the strategic and regulatory framework that promotes the resolution of private sector debt distress.  


The course takes approx. 6 months assuming 5-6 hours of self-study per week. It consists of 10 units which build upon each other. You will take the units in sequence and will  need to pass an online multiple choice test before accessing the next unit.

You are not sure if you manage to complete the course within 6 months? No worries! You can apply for a course extension (6 more months) against an administrative fee.


Registrations for the intake starting in March are open now. Register before 15th January 2022 to benefit from our Early Bird Discount.

Course Content*

A core part of the course will deal with hands-on restructuring techniques, which will be simulated through a number of numerical exercises and case studies. To provide context for restructuring techniques we will cover best-practice in bank-internal organisation, and recent trends in regulation, bank supervision and insolvency law. Restructuring episodes from Europe and emerging markets will be studied. Investment in NPL portfolios and distressed debt will be covered, as this present new opportunities in both regions. The economics of private sector debt distress and policies used to address such debt crises, will round off our programme.

At the end of the course you will be fluent in engaging with supervisors, other insolvency professionals and with investors in complex distressed situations. You will be in a position to negotiate for instance in a creditor committee, or to navigate the court system in an insolvency. These will be key skills for your organisation in the coming years.

Unit 1: Course introduction, and the context for NPLs and private sector debt 

  • Private debt and NPLs after the COVID recession 
  • The context for NPL restructuring

Unit 2: Debt distress: the early warning indicators

  • Arrears, default, and the NPL life cycle

  • Corporate debt distress: setting up an early warning system

  • Household over-indebtedness

  • Descriptive portfolio statistics to track arrears

  • Pre-default corrective action plans and loan forbearance

  • State-sponsored borrower relief measures

Unit 3: Impairment and defaults: regulation and accounting practice

  • Why bank asset quality definitions vary so widely

  • Reporting problem loans

  • Standards in the EU

  • The accounting framework: IFRS and expected credit losses

  • Integrating three perspectives on bad loans and flexibility in a recession

Unit 4:  Supervision and NPL management

  • Why supervisors care: high NPL banks are weak banks 

  • The response from supervisors: NPL guidelines from the ECB and European Banking Authority

  • Best practice: the ECB guidance to banks on non-performing loans

Unit 5: Policies and institutions in NPL crisis

  • Past debt crises in Asia and Europe

  • Lessons from past crises

  • Asset management companies

  • Rules for state aid to banks

  • Asset transfers and bank resolution

Unit 6: Insolvency regimes and asset recovery    

  • How the insolvency regime shapes creditor rights

  • Elements of effective insolvency regimes

  • Assessing insolvency regimes in practice

  • Pre-insolvency restructuring in Europe


Unit 7: Out-of-court workouts

  • The path to the out-of-court workout

  • Organising multi-creditor workouts

  • The restructuring plan

  • Deciding between alternative options

Unit 8: Case studies of corporate restructuring and insolvency

  • Case study no. 1: timely restructuring

  • Case study no. 2: multi-creditor restructuring of a hotel group

  • Case study no. 3: multi-creditor restructuring of an SME

  • Case study no. 4: bankruptcy of an unviable company

Unit 9: Restructuring household loans and arrears management

  • Household over-indebtedness 

  • The bank’s rights in a personal insolvency
  • Mortgage restructuring and borrower protection
  • Arrears management and responsible collections
  • Efficient and targeted arrears management

Unit 10: Loan sales and securitisations

  • Loan sales in the workout strategy 

  • The secondary loans markets in Europe and emerging markets

  • The regulation of loan transfers and external servicing

  • The distressed asset transfer process

  • NPL securitisations

Suggestions & recommendations

While you decide on the timing and pace of your learning experience we would like to give you some recommendations on how to get the most out of this course:

Your schedule: We will provide you a course schedule including voluntary and mandatory deadlines. The course schedule serves as guideline for your personal learning schedule and will help you completing the programme within the given time frame.

Exercises: Even though the exercises in the script are not mandatory we strongly advise you to use them as an opportunity to check your knowledge and to prepare for the final exam.

Assignments: With the assignments you will learn how to apply the knowledge learned during the course. It is important that you take time to read the necessary material and to solve the assignment.

Networking Opportunities: Use the forum to introduce yourself your peers and start interesting discussions.

*Subject to change

Training Approach

The flexibility of our courses offers you the opportunity to follow you own schedule and to combine daily work with professional development.

The highest quality offered will immediately improve your daily job performance as well as the performance of your institution.

Training Material

Video Lectures

  • Introduction videos: After viewing the lectures, participants will have a basic understanding of each topic and will be able to classify importance and relevance of different techniques and aspects in a broader context.
  • Web-based Presentations: Web based presentation complement the scripts and give additional input on important topics.

Online Tests

Each unit ends with an online test comprising a set of 10 - 15 multiple choice questions. Only after having successfully completed an online test you will gain access to the next unit.

Reading Material

A PDF script is for most of our courses the main studying material. This reading material provides basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject of each unit.


The key to successful learning is the immediate use of newly acquired knowledge and the transfer of theory into practice. Our online courses are therefore supplemented by mandatory assignments.

Discussion Forum

A course discussion forum enables the interaction between participants and trainers and facilitates the exchange of experiences as well as possibilities to ask questions or get clarifications.

Final Exam

Passing a final examination is a requirement for obtaining your certificate.

  • Location: The final exam takes place online.
  • Duration: The final exam takes 2 hours.
  • Cost: An additional final exam fee will be charged for the second and third final exam attempt

If you do not wish to take the final exam, you will receive a confirmation of course participation after completing the course.

Live Sessions

Each live session will last approx. 90 minutes and will be moderated by Dr Alexander Lehmann who will host expert guest speakers from regulatory agencies, international organisations, as well as seasoned restructuring professionals. The discussion will address current issues in both EU and emerging markets. Possible topics to be covered:

  • How to build capacity for NPL workout in line with supervisors’ standards
  • Fin-tech and ‘big data’ in distressed loan management
  • Reform of insolvency laws in EU states
  • Strategies in corporate workouts in complex legal systems
  • Defining a strategy for SME workouts
  • Personal insolvency codes and borrower protection
  • Opportunities and pitfalls in the loan disposal process
  • Engaging with international NPL investors
  • Building loan servicing capacity
  • Data privacy issues in the loan disposal process

Live sessions can be booked individually, or jointly through the Premium Package.

Course Lecturer

Dr. Alexander Lehmann

Dr. Alexander Lehmann is a non-resident fellow at Bruegel, Europe’s top-rated economic policy think tank, and an advisor to a number of central banks and the Asian Development Bank. He has regularly lectured in executive and graduate courses, most recently as adjunct professor at the Berlin-based Hertie School of Governance. In his advisory, research and teaching roles he focuses on how financial systems can become more resilient, recover from crises and support sustainable growth.

More Less

Until 2016 Alex was the Lead Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) where he headed the strategy and economics unit for central Europe and Baltic countries. From the Bank’s regional office in Warsaw he coordinated policy dialogue with governments and central banks in the region.

Previously, he was an official at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, a consultant for the World Trade Organization and the central bank of Mexico, and worked in research and teaching positions at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the London School of Economics. He has published widely on financial policies in the Euro area and emerging markets and holds a graduate degree in economics from the London School of Economics and a doctorate degree from Oxford University.


Beyond your Certificate:

Master of Leadership in Sustainable Finance

The Certified Expert in NPL Management is an Elective Module of the Master of Leadership in Sustainable Finance. Join our Master programme after completing the CENPL course and waive one elective module. Also, the amount you paid for the course will be deducted from the final tuition fee of the Master programme.

Inclusive Finance Summer Academy

As a participant of our “Certified Expert in Microinsurance” e-learning course, we offer you an exclusive 30% discount* for the Agriculture Finance Track of our Inclusive Finance Summer Academy (12 - 16 July, 2021). This brings down the aggregated tuition fee from 750 EUR + 4300 EUR to 3920 EUR **  (Regular fee of both programmes) or 600 EUR + 3655 EUR to 3328,5 EUR** Early bird of both programmes)

*(including access to the e-learning course, training materials for the on campus training, full board, accommodation & local transportation ticket).