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Mutual guarantee institutions and small business finance


  • Francesco Columba

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Leonardo Gambacorta

    () (Bank for International Settlements)

  • Paolo Emilio Mistrulli

    () (Bank of Italy JEL classification: D82, G21, G30, O16)


A large body of literature has shown that small firms experience difficulties in accessing the credit market due to informational asymmetries. Banks can overcome these asymmetries through relationship lending, or at least mitigate their effects by asking for collateral. Small firms, especially if they are young, have little collateral and short credit histories, and thus may find it difficult to raise funds from banks. In this paper, we show that even in this case, small firms may improve their borrowing capacity by joining Mutual Guarantee Institutions (MGI). Our empirical analysis shows that small firms affiliated to MGIs pay less for credit compared with similar firms. We obtain this result for interest rates charged on loan contracts which are not backed by mutual guarantees. We then argue that our findings are consistent with the view that MGIs are better at screening and monitoring opaque borrowers than banks are. Thus, banks benefit from the willingness of MGIs to post collateral since this implies that firms are better screened and monitored.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Columba & Leonardo Gambacorta & Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2009. "Mutual guarantee institutions and small business finance," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 735, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_735_09

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anginer, Deniz & de la Torre, Augusto & Ize, Alain, 2014. "Risk-bearing by the state: When is it good public policy?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 10(C), pages 76-86.
    2. Clara Cardone-Riportella & Antonio Trujillo-Ponce & Anahí Briozzo, 2013. "Analyzing the role of mutual guarantee societies on bank capital requirements for small and medium-sized enterprises," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 142-159, June.
    3. Columba, Francesco & Gambacorta, Leonardo & Mistrulli, Paolo Emilio, 2009. "The effects of mutual guarantee consortia on the quality of bank lending," MPRA Paper 17052, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2009.
    4. Bartoli, Francesca & Ferri, Giovanni & Murro, Pierluigi & Rotondi, Zeno, 2013. "Bank–firm relations and the role of Mutual Guarantee Institutions at the peak of the crisis," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 90-104.
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0430 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gallurt Povedano, Jesús & Ramírez Sobrino, Jesús N. & Pombo González, Pablo & Molina Sánchez, Horacio, 2013. "¿Los Sistemas de Garantía se orientan al prestatario o a las entidades de crédito? Estudio de la experiencia en Latinoamérica/Are Guarantee Systems oriented towards borrowers or credit institutions? S," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 31, pages 251(20)-251, Enero.
    7. Elisa Ughetto & Andrea Vezzulli, 2011. "What role can mutual guarantee consortia play for financing innovation? A firm-level study for Italy," International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(4), pages 294-319.
    8. Yoram Kroll & Assaf Cohen, 2013. "Optimum pricing of mutual guarantees for credit," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 253-262, June.
    9. Košak, Marko & Li, Shaofang & Lončarski, Igor & Marinč, Matej, 2015. "Quality of bank capital and bank lending behavior during the global financial crisis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 168-183.
    10. Bartoli, Francesca & Ferri, Giovanni & Murro, Pierluigi & Rotondi, Zeno, 2013. "SME financing and the choice of lending technology in Italy: Complementarity or substitutability?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5476-5485.
    11. Busetta, Giovanni & Zazzaro, Alberto, 2012. "Mutual loan-guarantee societies in monopolistic credit markets with adverse selection," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 15-24.
    12. Ono, Arito & Uesugi, Iichiro & Yasuda, Yukihiro, 2013. "Are lending relationships beneficial or harmful for public credit guarantees? Evidence from Japan's Emergency Credit Guarantee Program," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 151-167.
    13. Karel Janda, 2011. "Credit Rationing and Public Support of Commercial Credit," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp436, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    14. Hennecke, Peter & Neuberger, Doris & Ulbricht, Dirk, 2017. "The economic and fiscal value of German guarantee banks," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 152, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    15. Ansgar Belke & Florian Verheyen, 2013. "Finance Access of SMEs: What Role for the ECB?," ROME Working Papers 201311, ROME Network.
    16. Paolo Emilio Mistrulli & Valerio Vacca, 2015. "Social capital and the cost of credit: evidence from a crisis," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1009, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    17. D'Ignazio, Alessio & Menon, Carlo, 2012. "The causal effect of credit guarantees for SMEs: evidence from Italy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58555, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Lorenzo Gai & Federica Ielasi, 2014. "Operational drivers affecting credit risk of mutual guarantee institutions," Journal of Risk Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 15(3), pages 275-293, May.
    19. Ansgar Belke, 2013. "Finance Access of SMEs: What Role for the ECB?," Ruhr Economic Papers 0430, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    20. Clara Cardone-Riportella & Marta García-Mandaloniz, 2017. "Does Recent Regulation Improve (or not) the Spanish Mutual Guarantee System?," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 7(1), pages 515-523.
    21. Anaïs A Périlleux, 2010. "Maturity Mismatch and Governance of Microfinance Cooperatives: Lessons from History," Working Papers CEB 10-005.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    22. Karel Janda, 2011. "Credit Guarantees and Subsidies when Lender has a Market Power," Working Papers IES 2011/18, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jun 2011.
    23. repec:kap:sbusec:v:49:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9845-y is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Boschi, Melisso & Girardi, Alessandro & Ventura, Marco, 2014. "Partial credit guarantees and SMEs financing," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 182-194.
    25. Paolo Emilio Mistrulli & Valerio Vacca & Gennaro Corbisiero & Silvia del Prete & Luciano Esposito & Marco Gallo & Mariano Graziano & Maurizio Lozzi & Vincenzo Maffione & Daniele Marangoni & Andrea Mig, 2011. "Mutual Guarantee Institutions (MGIs) and small business credit during the crisis," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 105, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item


    credit guarantee schemes; joint liability; microfinance; peer monitoring; small business finance;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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