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Financial Distress and Bank Restructuring of Small to Medium Size UK Companies

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  • Julian Franks
  • Oren Sussman

Abstract

We use a unique data set to study how U.K. banks deal with financially distressed small and medium-sized companies under a ‘contractualist’ bankruptcy system. Unlike in the U.S., these procedures limit the discretion of courts to strict enforcement of debt contracts, without any dilution of creditors’ claims. We show that lenders and borrowers select a debt structure that avoids some of the market failures often attributed to a contractualist system. Collateral and liquidation rights are highly concentrated in the hands of the main bank, giving it a dominant position in restructuring or liquidating a defaulting firm. There is little litigation, and no evidence of co-ordination failures or creditors’ runs. However, there is some evidence that the bank’s dominance makes it ‘lazy’ in monitoring, relying heavily on the value of its collateral in timing the bankruptcy decision.

Suggested Citation

  • Julian Franks & Oren Sussman, 2005. "Financial Distress and Bank Restructuring of Small to Medium Size UK Companies," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 9(1), pages 65-96.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revfin:v:9:y:2005:i:1:p:65-96.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10679-005-2988-8
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fabbri, Daniela & Menichini, Anna Maria C., 2010. "Trade credit, collateral liquidation, and borrowing constraints," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 413-432, June.
    2. TSURUTA Daisuke, 2007. "Credit Contagion and Trade Credit Supply: Evidence from Small Business Data in Japan," Discussion papers 07043, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Dinev, Nikolay, 2017. "Voluntary Bankruptcy as Preemptive Persuasion," Economics Series 334, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    4. Nancy Huyghebaert, 2006. "On the Determinants and Dynamics of Trade Credit Use: Empirical Evidence from Business Start-ups," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(1-2), pages 305-328.
    5. Ahamed, M. Mostak & Mallick, Sushanta, 2017. "Does regulatory forbearance matter for bank stability? Evidence from creditors’ perspective," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 163-180.
    6. Saleem Bahaj & Angus Foulis & Gabor Pinter, 2017. "Home Values and Firm Behaviour," Discussion Papers 1724, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    7. Rodano, Giacomo & Serrano-Velarde, Nicolas & Tarantino, Emanuele, 2016. "Bankruptcy law and bank financing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 363-382.
    8. Amanda Carmignani & Massimo Omiccioli, 2007. "Costs and benefits of creditor concentration: An empirical approach," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 645, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    9. Ongena, Steven & Cerqueiro, Geraldo & Roszbach, Kasper, 2016. "Collateral damage? On collateral, corporate financing and performance," Working Paper Series 1918, European Central Bank.
    10. Hussain, Inayat & Durand, Robert B. & Harris, Mark N., 2016. "Default resolution and access to fresh credit in an emerging market," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 256-274.
    11. Douglas Baird & Arturo Bris & Ning Zhu, 2007. "The Dynamics of Large and Small Chapter 11 Cases: An Empirical Study," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2524, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Sep 2009.
    12. Simeon Djankov & Oliver Hart & Caralee McLiesh & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Debt Enforcement around the World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1105-1149, December.
    13. Tarantino, Emanuele, 2013. "Bankruptcy law and corporate investment decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2490-2500.
    14. Blazy, Régis & Martel, Jocelyn & Nigam, Nirjhar, 2014. "The choice between informal and formal restructuring: The case of French banks facing distressed SMEs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 248-263.
    15. Blazy, Régis & Letaief, Aziza, 2017. "When secured and unsecured creditors recover the same: The emblematic case of the Tunisian corporate bankruptcies," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 19-41.
    16. Höwer, Daniel, 2016. "The role of bank relationships when firms are financially distressed," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 59-75.
    17. Miguel García-Posada & Raquel Vegas, 2016. "Las reformas de la Ley Concursal durante la Gran Recesión," Working Papers 1610, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    18. repec:eee:corfin:v:48:y:2018:i:c:p:292-313 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Franks, Julian R & Lóránth, Gyöngyi, 2005. "A Study of Inefficient Going Concerns in Bankruptcy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5035, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Régis BLAZY & Nirjhar NIGAM, 2018. "Corporate insolvency procedures in England: The uneasy case for liquidations," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2018-02, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    21. Couwenberg, Oscar & de Jong, Abe, 2006. "It takes two to tango: An empirical tale of distressed firms and assisting banks," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 429-454, December.
    22. Jiang-Chuan Huang & Chin-Sheng Huang & Hueh-Chen Lin, 2013. "Firm Debt Renegotiation, Reorganization Filing and Bank Relationships," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 393-422, December.
    23. TSURUTA Daisuke & Peng XU, 2007. "Debt Structure and Bankruptcy of Financially Distressed Small Businesses," Discussion papers 07032, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    24. Fried, Jesse & Broughman, Brian, 2007. "Power and Payouts in the Sale of Startups," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt6sm713kb, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.

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