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Global Syndicated Lending during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Journal of Banking and Finance,
This paper examines the pricing of global syndicated loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that loan spreads rise by over 11 basis points in response to a one standard deviation increase in the lender's exposure to COVID-19 and over 5 basis points for an equivalent increase in the borrower's exposure. This implies excess interestof about USD 5.16 million and USD 2.37 million respectively for a loan of average size and duration. The aggravating effect of the pandemic is exacerbated with the level of government restrictions to tackle the virus's spread, with firms’ financial constraints and reliance on debt financing, whereas it is mitigated for relationship borrowers, borrowers listed in multiple exchanges or headquartered in countries that can attract institutional investors.
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.
May the Force Be with You: Exit Barriers, Governance Shocks, and Profitability Sclerosis in Banking
Deutsche Bundesbank Discussion Paper,
We test whether limited market discipline imposes exit barriers and poor profitability in banking. We exploit an exogenous shock to the governance of government-owned banks: the unification of counties. County mergers lead to enforced government-owned bank mergers. We compare forced to voluntary bank exits and show that the former cause better bank profitability and efficiency at the expense of riskier financial profiles. Regarding real effects, firms exposed to forced bank mergers borrow more at lower cost, increase investment, and exhibit higher employment. Thus, reduced exit frictions in banking seem to unleash the economic potential of both banks and firms.
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.
Flooded Through the Back Door: Firm-level Effects of Banks‘ Lending Shifts
IWH Discussion Papers,
I show that natural disasters transmit to firms in non-disaster areas via their banks. This spillover of non-financial shocks through the banking system is stronger for banks with less regulatory capital. Firms connected to a disaster-exposed bank with below median capital reduce their employment by 11% and their fixed assets by 20% compared to firms in the same region without such a bank during the 2013 flooding in Germany. Relationship banking and higher firm capital also mitigate the effects of such negative cross-regional spillovers.