Lending organizational structure and the use of credit scoring: evidence from a survey on Italian banks
This paper examines the results of a survey carried out in 2007 by the Bank of Italy concerning different characteristics of the organization of lending activities. Between 2003 and 2006 the physical distance between the headquarters and the branches increased, the limits to the decision-making process of loan officers were eased, their mobility raised and the use of economic incentives to reward their activity expanded. The huge heterogeneity in organizational structures persists even within relatively homogenous size classes. The diffusion of statistical models to assess credit risk (scoring), accelerated recently particularly among large banks, boosted by the new Basel Capital Accord. Scoring is either very important or determinant in decisions on credit extension while it is rarely influential in setting interest rates, the duration of the credit and the amount and type of collateral required. The survey shows that banks have been progressively adapting their organizational structure in order to incorporate the credit scoring tools into their lending processes.
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