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Determinants of Default: Evidence from a Sector-level Panel of Irish SME Loans

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  • Martina Lawless
  • Fergal McCann

    (Central Bank of Ireland, Dublin)

Abstract

This paper uses unique SME loan-level data complete with quarterly loan ratings assigned by the lending institution over the period 2008-2010. This allows us to examine the evolution of loan performance throughout the period of economic and financial crisis. We document the shift in the distribution of loans across ratings as economic conditions deteriorated, but also show that this effect was heterogeneous across sectors. In panel data estimations, changes in employment across sectors are shown to be a leading indicator of loan performance, demonstrating the importance of the link between real economy demand and loan impairment. Levels of outstanding credit in a sector cannot explain current loan performance. However, in keeping with a growing literature on the dangers of post-boom debt overhang, we calculate a measure of excess credit using deviations from a long-run trend that is strongly associated with higher levels of current impairment. This provides new evidence on the effect of relaxed credit standards during a boom on crisis-era loan delinquency.

Suggested Citation

  • Martina Lawless & Fergal McCann, 2013. "Determinants of Default: Evidence from a Sector-level Panel of Irish SME Loans," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(4), pages 473-488.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:44:y:2013:i:4:p:473-488
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lawless, Martina & McCann, Fergal & McIndoe-Calder, Tara, 2012. "SMEs in Ireland: Stylised facts from the real economy and credit market," Quarterly Bulletin Articles, Central Bank of Ireland, pages 99-123, April.
    2. Kelly, Robert & O’Malley, Terence, 2016. "The good, the bad and the impaired: A credit risk model of the Irish mortgage market," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 1-9.
    3. Fidrmuc, Jarko & Hainz, Christa, 2010. "Default rates in the loan market for SMEs: Evidence from Slovakia," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 133-147, June.
    4. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 215-268, November.
    5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters, in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton University Press.
    6. Martina Lawless & Fergal McCann, 2013. "Determinants of Default: Evidence from a Sector-level Panel of Irish SME Loans," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(4), pages 473-488.
    7. Edward I. Altman, 1968. "Financial Ratios, Discriminant Analysis And The Prediction Of Corporate Bankruptcy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(4), pages 589-609, September.
    8. Lawless, Martina & McCann, Fergal, 2012. "The Irish SME lending market - a snapshot, December 2010," Economic Letters 03/EL/12, Central Bank of Ireland.
    9. McCann, Fergal & McIndoe-Calder, Tara, 2012. "Determinants of SME Loan Default: The Importance of Borrower-Level Heterogeneity," Research Technical Papers 06/RT/12, Central Bank of Ireland.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martina Lawless & Fergal McCann, 2013. "Determinants of Default: Evidence from a Sector-level Panel of Irish SME Loans," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(4), pages 473-488.
    2. Jan Vavřina & Lubor Lacina, 2014. "Profitability of Business Entities Settled in Selected Countries of the Eurozone Periphery," Acta Universitatis Bohemiae Meridionales, University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice, vol. 17(2), pages 75-91.
    3. Robert Kelly & Eoin Brien & Rebecca Stuart, 2015. "A long-run survival analysis of corporate liquidations in Ireland," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 671-683, March.
    4. Annalisa Ferrando & Klaas Mulier, 2015. "Firms’ Financing Constraints: Do Perceptions Match the Actual Situation?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 46(1), pages 87-117.
    5. Conor M. O'Toole & Martina Lawless & Derek Lambert, 2015. "Non-Bank Financing in Ireland: A Comparative Perspective," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 46(1), pages 133-161.
    6. Lubor Lacina & Jan Vavřina, 2013. "The impact of financial and economic crisis on SME's in Greece and Ireland," Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, Mendel University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 1005-1016.

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