cover_SAFE-Working-Paper-Series_2013-19.jpg

Hidden Gems and Borrowers with Dirty Little Secrets: Investment in Soft Information, Borrower Self-Selection and Competition

This paper empirically examines the role of soft information in the competitive interaction between relationship and transaction banks. Soft information can be interpreted as a private signal about the quality of a firm that is observable to a relationship bank, but not to a transaction bank. We show that borrowers self-select to relationship banks depending on whether their privately observed soft information is positive or negative. Competition affects the investment in learning the private signal from firms by relationship banks and transaction banks asymmetrically. Relationship banks invest more; transaction banks invest less in soft information, exacerbating the selection effect. Finally, we show that firms where soft information was important in the lending decision were no more likely to default compared to firms where only financial information was used.

08. May 2013

Authors Reint E. Gropp C. Gruendl Andre Guettler

Professor Reint E. Gropp, PhD

About the author

Professor Reint E. Gropp, PhD

Reint E. Gropp joined the Institute as President in November 2014. He is also a Professor of Economics at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg. He is Associate Fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and serves as consultant for various central banks.

Suggested Reading

cover_journal-of-banking-and-finance.jpg

Hidden Gems and Borrowers with Dirty Little Secrets: Investment in Soft Information, Borrower Self-selection and Competition

Reint E. Gropp Andre Guettler

in: Journal of Banking & Finance, No. 2, 2018

Abstract

This paper empirically examines the role of soft information in the competitive interaction between relationship and transaction banks. Soft information can be interpreted as a valuable signal about the quality of a firm that is observable to a relationship bank, but not to a transaction bank. We show that borrowers self-select to relationship banks depending on whether their observed soft information is positive or negative. Competition affects the investment in learning the soft information from firms by relationship banks and transaction banks asymmetrically. Relationship banks invest more; transaction banks invest less in soft information, exacerbating the selection effect.

read publication

Whom to contact

For Researchers

For Journalists

Mitglied der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft LogoTotal-Equality-LogoWeltoffen Logo