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Credit supply, flight to quality and evergreening: an analysis of bank-firm relationships after Lehman

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  • Ugo Albertazzi

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Domenico J. Marchetti

    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of the financial crisis on credit supply by using highly detailed data on bank-firm relationships in Italy after Lehman’s collapse. We control for firms’ unobservable characteristics, such as credit demand and borrowers’ risk, by exploiting multiple lending. We find evidence of a contraction of credit supply, associated to low bank capitalization and scarce liquidity. The ability of borrowers to compensate through substitution across banks appears to have been limited. We also document that larger less-capitalized banks reallocated loans away from riskier firms, contributing to credit pro-cyclicality. Such ‘flight to quality’ has not occurred for smaller less-capitalized banks. We argue that this may have reflected, among other things, evergreening practices. We provide corroborating evidence based on data on borrowers' productivity and interest rates at bank-firm level.

Suggested Citation

  • Ugo Albertazzi & Domenico J. Marchetti, 2010. "Credit supply, flight to quality and evergreening: an analysis of bank-firm relationships after Lehman," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 756, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_756_10
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    credit supply; bank capital; flight to quality; evergreening;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure

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