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Rules versus Discretion in Loan Rate Setting

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  • Cerqueiro, Geraldo
  • Degryse, Hans
  • Ongena, Steven

Abstract

We propose a heteroscedastic regression model to identify the determinants of the dispersion in interest rates on loans granted to small and medium sized enterprises. We interpret unexplained deviations as evidence of the banks’ discretionary use of market power in the loan rate setting process. “Discretion” in the loan-pricing process is most important, we find, if: (i) loans are small and uncollateralized; (ii) firms are small, risky and difficult to monitor; (iii) firms’ owners are older, and, (iv) the banking market where the firm operates is large and highly concentrated. We also find that the weight of “discretion” in loan rates of small credits to opaque firms has decreased somewhat over the last fifteen years, consistent with the proliferation of information-technologies in the banking industry. Overall, our results reflect the relevance in the credit market of the costs firms face in searching information and switching lenders.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6450.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6450

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Keywords: financial intermediation; loan rates; price discrimination; variance analysis;

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Cited by:
  1. Andrea Bellucci & Alexander Borisov & Alberto Zazzaro, 2013. "Do Banks Price Discriminate Spatially? Evidence from Small Business Lending in Local Credit Markets," Working Papers CASMEF 1303, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
  2. Buch, Claudia M. & Döpke, Jörg & Stahn, Kerstin, 2008. "Great moderation at the firm level? Unconditional versus conditional output volatility," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2008,13, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Diana Bonfim & Qinglei Dai & Francesco Franco, 2009. "The Number of Bank Relationships, Borrowing Costs and Bank Competition," Working Papers w200912, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  4. Simon Cornée, 2014. "Soft Information and Default Prediction in Cooperative and Social Banks," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201402, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
  5. Claudia M. Buch & Martin Schlotter, 2008. "Regional Origins of Employment Volatility: Evidence from German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 2296, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Elmas Yaldiz Hanedar & Eleonora Broccardo & Flavio Bazzana, 2012. "Collateral Requirements of SMEs:The Evidence from Less–Developed Countries," Centro Studi di Banca e Finanza (CEFIN) (Center for Studies in Banking and Finance) 12111, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Facoltà di Economia "Marco Biagi".
  7. Brown, Martin & Schaller, Matthias & Westerfeld, Simone & Heusler, Markus, 2012. "Information or Insurance? On the Role of Loan Officer Discretion in Credit Assessment," Working Papers on Finance 1203, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
  8. Gropp, Reint & Gruendl, Christian & Guettler, Andre, 2013. "Hidden gems and borrowers with dirty little secrets: investment in soft information, borrower self-selection and competition," Working Paper Series 1555, European Central Bank.
  9. Gropp, R. & Grundl, C. & Guttler, A., 2012. "Does Discretion in Lending Increase Bank Risk? Borrower Self-Selection and Loan Officer Capture Effects," Discussion Paper 2012-030, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Chang, C. & Liao, G. & Yu, X. & Ni, Z., 2009. "Information from Relationship Lending: Evidence from China," Discussion Paper 2009-39 S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Claudia M. Buch & Jörg Döpke & Kerstin Stahn, 2008. "Great Moderation at the Firm Level? Unconditional vs. Conditional Output Volatility," CESifo Working Paper Series 2324, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Iannotta, Giuliano & Nocera, Giacomo & Resti, Andrea, 2013. "Do investors care about credit ratings? An analysis through the cycle," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 545-555.
  13. Kim, Moshe & Surroca, Jordi & Tribó, Josep A., 2014. "Impact of ethical behavior on syndicated loan rates," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 122-144.
  14. Fantazzini, Dean & DeGiuli, Maria Elena & Figini, Silvia & Giudici, Paolo, 2009. "Enhanced credit default models for heterogeneous SME segments," Journal of Financial Transformation, Capco Institute, vol. 25, pages 31-39.
  15. Ben-David, Itzhak & Agarwal, Sumit, 2012. "Do Loan Officers' Incentives Lead to Lax Lending Standards?," Working Paper Series 2012-07, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  16. Jens Grunert & Lars Norden, 2012. "Bargaining power and information in SME lending," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 401-417, September.
  17. L. Baele & V. De Bruyckere & O. De Jonghe & R. Vander Vennet, 2012. "Do Stock Markets Discipline US Bank Holding Companies: Just Monitoring, or also In?uencing?," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/827, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  18. Degryse, H.A. & Cerqueiro, G.M. & Ongena, S., 2007. "Distance, Bank Organizational Structure and Credit," Discussion Paper 2007-018, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.

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