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Lines of Credit and Relationship Lending in Small Firm Finance

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  • Allen Berger
  • Gregory Udell

Abstract

This paper examines the role of relationship lending using a data set on small firm finance. The abilities to acquire private information over time about borrower quality and to use this information in designing debt contracts largely define the unique nature of commercial banking. Recently, a theoretical literature on relationship lending has appeared which provides predictions about how loan interest rates evolve over the course of a bank-borrower relationship. The study focuses on small, mostly untraded firms for which the bank-borrower relationship is likely to be important. The authors examine lending under lines of credit (L/Cs), because the L/C itself represents a formalization of the relationship and the data are thus more "relationship-driven." They also analyze the empirical association between relationship lending and the collateral decision. Using data from the National Survey of Small Business Finance, the authors find that borrowers with longer banking relationships pay a lower interest rate and are less likely to pledge collateral. Empirical results also suggest that banks accumulate increasing amounts of this private information over the duration of the bank-borrower relationship.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania in its series Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers with number 94-11.

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Date of creation: Mar 1994
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Handle: RePEc:wop:pennin:94-11

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap, 1999. "The Japanese Banking Crisis: Where Did It Come From and How Will It End?," NBER Working Papers 7250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anjan V. Thakor, 2004. "Capital Requirements, Monetary Policy, and Aggregate Bank," Finance 0411027, EconWPA.
  3. Anil Kashyap & Raghuram Rajan & Jeremy S. Stein, 1998. "Banks as liquidity providers: an explanation for the co-existence of lending and deposit-taking," Proceedings 582, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. James R. Barth & Glenn Yago & Betsy Zeidman, 2006. "Stumbling blocks to entrepreneurship in low-and-moderate income communities," Proceedings: Community Affairs Dept. Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Jul, pages 91-155.
  5. Anjali Kumar & Manuela Francisco, 2005. "Enterprise Size, Financing Patterns, and Credit Constraints in Brazil : Analysis of Data from the Investment Climate Assessment Survey," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7330, October.
  6. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren, 1995. "Small business credit availability: how important is size of lender?," Working Papers 95-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  7. Gorton, Gary B. & Pennacchi, George G., 1995. "Banks and loan sales Marketing nonmarketable assets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 389-411, June.

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