European Economic Review,
In a two-stage game, we study under what conditions banks offer phonebanking (first stage). In the second stage, they are competitors in the market for deposits. Offering the phone option creates two opposing effects. The first is a demand effect as depositors strictly prefer to manage some of their financial transactions by phone. The second (strategic) effect is that competition is increased as transaction costs are lowered. Universal phonebanking prevails when the demand effect dominates the strategic effect. Specialization can occur in that one bank offers the phone option while the other does not.
Interbank Exposures: An Empirical Examination of Contagion Risk in the Belgian Banking System
International Journal of Central Banking,
Robust (cross-border) interbank markets are important for the proper functioning of modern financial systems. However, a network of interbank exposures may lead to domino effects following the event of an initial bank failure. We investigate the evolution and determinants of contagion risk for the Belgian banking system over the period 1993–2002 using detailed information on aggregate interbank exposures of individual banks, large bilateral interbank exposures, and cross-border interbank exposures. The "structure" of the interbank market affects contagion risk. We find that a change from a complete structure (where all banks have symmetric links) toward a "multiplemoney-center" structure (where money centers are symmetrically linked to otherwise disconnected banks) has decreased the risk and impact of contagion. In addition, an increase in the relative importance of cross-border interbank exposures has lowered local contagion risk. However, this reduction may have been compensated by an increase in contagion risk stemming from foreign banks.
Relationship Banking and SME Financing: The Case of Wales
International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance,
Regional disparities in credit availability across the UK have been highlighted in a series of studies as a factor affecting both new firm starts and small firm growth prospects. This paper suggests that relationship banking might be an important means of attenuating differences in credit availability. The paper focuses on the value of relationship banking to SMEs in Wales in the period following the global banking crisis. The results show that SMEs that had developed a customer-loan relationship with their banks had a lower probability of experiencing a worsened credit outcome than those that did not. The implications of the findings for regional development and financial provision are discussed.
When Arm’s Length Is Too Far. Relationship Banking over the Credit Cycle
Journal of Financial Economics,
We conduct face-to-face interviews with bank CEOs to classify 397 banks across 21 countries as either relationship or transaction lenders. We then use the geographic coordinates of these banks’ branches and of 14,100 businesses to analyze how the lending techniques of banks in the vicinity of firms are related to credit constraints at two contrasting points of the credit cycle. We find that while relationship lending is not associated with credit constraints during a credit boom, it alleviates such constraints during a downturn. This positive role of relationship lending is stronger for small and opaque firms and in regions with a more severe economic downturn. Moreover, our evidence suggests that relationship lending mitigates the impact of a downturn on firm growth and does not constitute evergreening of loans.