Credit Allocation when Borrowers are Economically Linked: An Empirical Analysis of Bank Loans to Corporate Customers
Using detailed loan level data, we examine bank lending to corporate customers relying on principal suppliers. Customers experience larger loan spreads, higher intensity of covenants and greater likelihood of requiring collateral when they depend more on the principal supplier for inputs. The positive association between the customer’s loan spread and its dependence on the principal supplier is less pronounced when the bank has a prior loan outstanding with the principal supplier, and when the bank has higher market share in the industry. Longer relationships between the customer and its principal supplier, and between the bank and the principal supplier, mitigate lending constraints. The evidence is consistent with corporate suppliers serving as an informational bridge between the lender and the customer.