Political Uncertainty and Bank Loan Contracts: Does Government Quality Matter?
Journal of Financial Services Research,
We investigate the relation between political uncertainty and bank loan spreads using a sample of loan contracts for the G20 firms during the period from 1982 to 2015. We find that banks charge firms higher loan spreads and require more covenants during election years when domestic political risks are elevated. Greater differences in the support ratios of opinion polls on candidates lead to the lower cost of bank loans. This political effect also lessens when the government quality of the borrower’s country is better than that of the lender’s country. Better quality government can lower the political risk component of bank loan spreads.
Managerial Biases and Debt Contract Design: The Case of Syndicated Loans
We examine whether managerial overconfidence impacts the use of performance-pricing provisions in loan contracts (performance-sensitive debt [PSD]). Managers with biased views may issue PSD because they consider this form of debt to be mispriced. Our evidence shows that overconfident managers are more likely to issue rate-increasing PSD than regular debt. They choose PSD with steeper performance-pricing schedules than those chosen by rational managers. We reject the possibility that overconfident managers have (persistent) positive private information and use PSD for signaling. Finally, firms seem to benefit less from using PSD ex post if they are managed by overconfident rather than rational managers.
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.
Bank Market Power and Loan Contracts: Empirical Evidence
Using a sample of syndicated loan facilities granted to US corporate borrowers from 1987 to 2013, we directly gauge the lead banks’ market power, and test its effects on both price and non‐price terms in loan contracts. We find that bank market power is positively correlated with loan spreads, and the positive relation holds for both non‐relationship loans and relationship loans. In particular, we report that, for relationship loans, lending banks charge lower loan price for borrowing firms with lower switching cost. We further employ a framework accommodating the joint determination of loan contractual terms, and document that the lead banks’ market power is positively correlated with collateral and negatively correlated with loan maturity. In addition, we report a significant and negative relationship between banking power and the number of covenants in loan contracts, and the negative relationship is stronger for relationship loans.
Hold-up and the Use of Performance-sensitive Debt
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
We examine whether performance-sensitive debt (PSD) is used to reduce hold-up problems in long-term lending relationships. We find that the use of PSD is more common in the presence of a long-term lending relationship and if the borrower has fewer financing alternatives available. In syndicated deals, however, the presence of a relationship lead arranger reduces the use of PSD because a lead arranger has little incentive to hold-up a client. Further supporting the hypothesis that hold-up concerns motivate the use of PSD, we find a substitution effect between the use of PSD and the tightness of financial covenants.
The Impact of Credit Default Swap Trading on Loan Syndication
Review of Finance,
We analyze the impact of credit default swap (CDS) trading on bank syndication activity. Theoretically, the effect of CDS trading is ambiguous: on the one hand, CDS can improve risk-sharing and hence be a more flexible risk management tool than loan syndication; on the other hand, CDS trading can reduce bank monitoring incentives. We document that banks are less likely to syndicate loans and retain a larger loan fraction once CDS are actively traded on the borrower’s debt. We then discern the risk management and the moral hazard channel. We find no evidence that the reduced likelihood to syndicate loans is a result of increased moral hazard problems.