Benign Neglect of Covenant Violations: Blissful Banking or Ignorant Monitoring
Theoretically, bank's loan monitoring activity hinges critically on its capitalization. To proxy for monitoring intensity, we use changes in borrowers' investment following loan covenant violations, when creditors can intervene in the governance of the firm. Exploiting granular bank‐firm relationships observed in the syndicated loan market, we document substantial heterogeneity in monitoring across banks and through time. Better capitalized banks are more lenient monitors that intervene less with covenant violators. Importantly, this hands‐off approach is associated with improved borrowers' performance. Beyond enhancing financial resilience, regulation that requires banks to hold more capital may thus also mitigate the tightening of credit terms when firms experience shocks.
06.10.2020 • 19/2020
IWH Bankruptcy Update: Bankruptcies Stabilise at a Low Level; Number of Affected Jobs Remains High
The number of companies declaring bankruptcy in Germany was very low in September, and no significant increase is expected in the coming months. By contrast, the number of jobs impacted by corporate bankruptcies remained elevated in September; monthly layoff figures have increased significantly since the beginning of the year. These are the key findings of the IWH Bankruptcy Update, a monthly monitor of insolvency statistics published by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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Financial Incentives and Loan Officer Behavior: Multitasking and Allocation of Effort under an Incomplete Contract
Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis,
We investigate the implications of providing loan officers with a nonlinear compensation structure that rewards loan volume and penalizes poor performance. Using a unique data set provided by a large international commercial bank, we examine the main activities that loan officers perform: loan prospecting, screening, and monitoring. We find that when loan officers are at risk of losing their bonuses, they increase prospecting and monitoring. We further show that loan officers adjust their behavior more toward the end of the month when bonus payments are approaching. These effects are more pronounced for loan officers with longer tenures at the bank.
Foreign Ownership, Bank Information Environments, and the International Mobility of Corporate Governance
Journal of International Business Studies,
This paper investigates how foreign ownership shapes bank information environments. Using a sample of listed banks from 60 countries over 1997–2012, we show that foreign ownership is significantly associated with greater (lower) informativeness (synchronicity) in bank stock prices. We also find that stock returns of foreign-owned banks reflect more information about future earnings. In addition, the positive association between price informativeness and foreign ownership is stronger for foreign-owned banks in countries with stronger governance, stronger banking supervision, and lower monitoring costs. Overall, our evidence suggests that foreign ownership reduces bank opacity by exporting governance, yielding important implications for regulators and governments.
Four Research Clusters ...
Enforcement of Banking Regulation and the Cost of Borrowing
Journal of Banking and Finance,
We show that borrowing firms benefit substantially from important enforcement actions issued on U.S. banks for safety and soundness reasons. Using hand-collected data on such actions from the main three U.S. regulators and syndicated loan deals over the years 1997–2014, we find that enforcement actions decrease the total cost of borrowing by approximately 22 basis points (or $4.6 million interest for the average loan). We attribute our finding to a competition-reputation effect that works over and above the lower risk of punished banks post-enforcement and survives in a number of sensitivity tests. We also find that this effect persists for approximately four years post-enforcement.
Benign Neglect of Covenant Violations: Blissful Banking or Ignorant Monitoring?
IWH Discussion Papers,
Theoretically, bank‘s loan monitoring activity hinges critically on its capitalisation. To proxy for monitoring intensity, we use changes in borrowers‘ investment following loan covenant violations, when creditors can intervene in the governance of the firm. Exploiting granular bank-firm relationships observed in the syndicated loan market, we document substantial heterogeneity in monitoring across banks and through time. Better capitalised banks are more lenient monitors that intervene less with covenant violators. Importantly, this hands-off approach is associated with improved borrowers‘ performance. Beyond enhancing financial resilience, regulation that requires banks to hold more capital may thus also mitigate the tightening of credit terms when firms experience shocks.
Senior Debt and Market Discipline: Evidence from Bank-to-bank Loans
Journal of Banking & Finance,
We empirically investigate whether taking senior bank loans would enhance market discipline and control risk-taking among borrowing banks. Controlling for endogeneity concern arising from borrowing bank self-select into taking senior bank debt, we document that both the spreads and covenants in loan contracts are sensitive to bank risk variables. Our analysis also reveals that borrowing banks reduce their risk exposure after their first issuance of senior bank debt. We also find that lending banks significantly increase their collaboration with borrowing banks and increase their presence in the home markets of borrowing banks.
21.03.2018 • 5/2018
What is holding back the banking union?
The European Commission wants to better regulate and monitor the European banking sector. In many EU Member States, however, the necessary directives are being implemented extremely slowly. Surprisingly, the reasons for this do not lie in politics and banking structures, but in the institutional framework conditions and existing regulations in the Member States, as argued by Michael Koetter, Thomas Krause and Lena Tonzer from the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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