Borrowers Under Water! Rare Disasters, Regional Banks, and Recovery Lending
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
We show that local banks provide corporate recovery lending to firms affected by adverse regional macro shocks. Banks that reside in counties unaffected by the natural disaster that we specify as macro shock increase lending to firms inside affected counties by 3%. Firms domiciled in flooded counties, in turn, increase corporate borrowing by 16% if they are connected to banks in unaffected counties. We find no indication that recovery lending entails excessive risk-taking or rent-seeking. However, within the group of shock-exposed banks, those without access to geographically more diversified interbank markets exhibit more credit risk and less equity capital.
Employee Treatment and Contracting with Bank Lenders: An Instrumental Approach for Stakeholder Management
Journal of Business Ethics,
Adopting an instrumental approach for stakeholder management, we focus on two primary stakeholder groups (employees and creditors) to investigate the relationship between employee treatment and loan contracts with banks. We find strong evidence that fair employee treatment reduces loan price and limits the use of financial covenants. In addition, we document that relationship bank lenders price both the levels and changes in the quality of employee treatment, whereas first-time bank lenders only care about the levels of fair employee treatment. Taking a contingency perspective, we find that industry competition and firm asset intangibility moderate the relationship between good human resource management and bank loan costs. The cost reduction effect of fair employee treatment is stronger for firms operating in a more competitive industry and having higher levels of intangible assets.
Four Research Clusters ...
Lock‐in Effects in Relationship Lending: Evidence from DIP Loans
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
Do prior lending relationships result in pass‐through savings (lower interest rates) for borrowers, or do they lock in higher costs for borrowers? Theoretical models suggest that when borrowers experience greater information asymmetry, higher switching costs, and limited access to capital markets, they become locked into higher costs from their existing lenders. Firms in Chapter 11 seeking debtor‐in‐possession (DIP) financing often fit this profile. We investigate the presence of lock‐in effects using a sample of 348 DIP loans. We account for endogeneity using the instrument variable (IV) approach and the Heckman selection model and find consistent evidence that prior lending relationship is associated with higher interest costs and the effect is more severe for stronger existing relationships. Our study provides direct evidence that prior lending relationships do create a lock‐in effect under certain circumstances, such as DIP financing.
Can Lenders Discern Managerial Ability from Luck? Evidence from Bank Loan Contracts
Journal of Banking & Finance,
We investigate the effect of managerial ability versus luck on bank loan contracting. Borrowers showing a persistently superior managerial ability over previous years (more likely due to ability) enjoy a lower loan spread, while borrowers showing a temporary superior managerial ability (more likely due to luck) do not enjoy any spread reduction. This finding suggests that banks can discern ability from luck when pricing a loan. Firms with high-ability managers are more likely to continue their prior lower loan spread. The spread-reduction effect of managerial ability is stronger for firms with weak governance structures or poor stakeholder relationships, corroborating the notion that better managerial ability alleviates borrowers’ agency and information risks. We also find that well governed banks are better able to price governance into their borrowers’ loans, which helps explain why good governance enhances bank value.
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.
On the Nonexclusivity of Loan Contracts: An Empirical Investigation
We study how a bank's willingness to lend to a previously exclusive firm changes once the firm obtains a loan from another bank ("outside loan") and breaks an exclusive relationship. Using a difference-in-difference analysis and a setting where outside loans are observable, we document that an outside loan triggers a decrease in the initial bank's willingness to lend to the firm, i.e., outside loans are strategic substitutes. Consistent with concerns about coordination problems and higher indebtedness, we find that this reaction is more pronounced the larger the outside loan and it is muted if the initial bank's existing and future loans retain seniority and are protected with valuable collateral. Our results give a benevolent role to transparency enabling banks to mitigate adverse effects from outside loans. The resulting substitute behavior may also act as a stabilizing force in credit markets limiting positive comovements between lenders, decreasing the possibility of credit freezes and financial crises.