Do Banks Value Borrowers' Environmental Record? Evidence from Financial Contracts
Journal of Business Ethics,
Banks play a unique role in society. They not only maximize profits but also consider the interests of stakeholders. We investigate whether banks consider firms’ pollution records in their lending decisions. The evidence shows that banks offer significantly higher loan spreads, higher total borrowing costs, shorter loan maturities, and greater collateral to firms with higher levels of chemical pollution. The costly effects are stronger for borrowers with greater risk and weaker corporate governance. Further, the results show that banks with higher social responsibility account for their borrowers’ environmental performance and charge higher loan spreads to those with poor performance. These results support the idea that banks with higher social responsibility can promote the practice of business ethics in firms.
Bank Concentration and Product Market Competition
Review of Financial Studies,
This paper documents a link between bank concentration and markups in nonfinancial sectors. We exploit concentration-increasing bank mergers and variation in banks’ market shares across industries and show that higher credit concentration is associated with higher markups and that high-market-share lenders charge lower loan rates. We argue that this is due to the greater incidence of competing firms sharing common lenders that induce less aggressive product market behavior among their borrowers, thereby internalizing potential adverse effects of higher rates. Consistent with our conjecture, the effect is stronger in industries with competition in strategic substitutes where negative product market externalities are greatest.
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.
The Role of Securitization in Bank Liquidity and Funding Management
Journal of Financial Economics,
This paper studies the role of securitization in bank management. I propose a new index of “bank loan portfolio liquidity” which can be thought of as a weighted average of the potential to securitize loans of a given type, where the weights reflect the composition of a bank loan portfolio. I use this new index to show that by allowing banks to convert illiquid loans into liquid funds, securitization reduces banks' holdings of liquid securities and increases their lending ability. Furthermore, securitization provides banks with an additional source of funding and makes bank lending less sensitive to cost of funds shocks. By extension, the securitization weakens the ability of the monetary authority to affect banks' lending activity but makes banks more susceptible to liquidity and funding crisis when the securitization market is shut down.