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SMEs and Access to Bank Credit: Evidence on the Regional Propagation of the Financial Crisis in the UK
Journal of Financial Stability,
We study the sensitivity of banks’ credit supply to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in the UK with respect to the banks’ financial condition before and during the financial crisis. Employing unique data on the geographical location of all bank branches in the UK, we connect firms’ access to bank credit to the financial condition (i.e., bank health and the use of core deposits) of all bank branches in the vicinity of the firm for the period 2004–2011. Before the crisis, banks’ local financial conditions did not influence credit availability irrespective of the functional distance (i.e., the distance between bank branch and bank headquarters). However, during the crisis, we find that SMEs with banks within their vicinity that have stronger financial conditions faced greater credit availability when the functional distance is close. Our results point to a “flight to headquarters” effect during the financial crisis.
25.05.2018 • 12/2018
The resistance of employers against works councils
Germany votes. However, this time it’s not about the politicians – instead it’s about the works councils. It’s certainly worthwhile: Many studies have shown that works councils all in all have a positive impact on productivity, wages and profits. Despite this, employers are sometimes very resistant to the idea of staff involvement in company decision-making. A common argument is that such participation limits managerial freedom and that employers are willing to sacrifice the benefits of staff participation in return for greater room for manoeuvre. Steffen Müller from the Halle Institute for Economic Research Halle (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association now provides an alternative economic justification for employer resistance: Employer associations are dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises, and in these works councils – in contrast to large firms – often produce no positive economic benefits.
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Private Benefits of Control and Bank Loan Contracts
Journal of Corporate Finance,
This paper investigates whether or not private benefits of control by managers and large shareholders influence the financing cost of firms. Evidence shows that lending banks demand a significantly higher loan spread, higher fees, shorter loan maturity, smaller loan size, stricter covenants, and greater collateral on firms with greater private benefits of control. Results are stronger for firms with weak corporate governance quality, supporting the agency cost viewpoint. Such evidence implies that banks consider higher private benefits of control as a type of agency problem when they make lending decisions.