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Relationship Banking and SMEs: A Theoretical Analysis


  • Timo Baas
  • Mechthild Schrooten


Reliable information on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is rare and costly for financial intermediaries. To compensate for this, relationship banking is often considered as the appropriate lending technique in the case of SMEs. In this paper we offer a theoretical model to analyze the pricing behavior of banks in a Bertrand competition framework with monitoring costs. We show that the lack of reliable information leads to comparably high interest rates even if a long-term relationship between borrower and bank exists. The paper offers a theoretical explanation why SME managers consider external finance as a major constraint to their business.

Suggested Citation

  • Timo Baas & Mechthild Schrooten, 2005. "Relationship Banking and SMEs: A Theoretical Analysis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 469, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp469

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Relationship banking; Financial constraints; Small and medium sized enterprises; Accounting;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • 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
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting


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