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On the importance of prior relationships in bank loans to retail customers

Listed author(s):
  • Puri, Manju
  • Rocholl, Jörg
  • Steffen, Sascha

This paper analyzes the importance of retail consumers’ banking relationships for loan defaults using a unique, comprehensive dataset of over one million loans by savings banks in Germany. We find that loans of retail customers, who have a relationship with their savings bank prior to applying for a loan, default significantly less than customers with no prior relationship. We find relationships matter in different forms, scope, and depth. Importantly, though, even the simplest forms of relationships such as transaction accounts are economically meaningful in reducing defaults, even after controlling for other borrower characteristics as well as internal and external credit scores. Our results suggest that relationships of all kinds have inherent private information and are valuable in screening, in monitoring, and in reducing consumers’ incentives to default. JEL Classification: G20, G21

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1395.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20111395
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  9. James, Christopher, 1987. "Some evidence on the uniqueness of bank loans," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 217-235, December.
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  13. Boyes, William J. & Hoffman, Dennis L. & Low, Stuart A., 1989. "An econometric analysis of the bank credit scoring problem," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 3-14, January.
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  16. Thomas Hellmann & Laura Lindsey & Manju Puri, 2008. "Building Relationships Early: Banks in Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 513-541, April.
  17. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-161, January.
  18. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Monitoring and Reputation: The Choice between Bank Loans and Directly Placed Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 689-721, August.
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  20. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1995. "Relationship Lending and Lines of Credit in Small Firm Finance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(3), pages 351-381, July.
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  22. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
  23. Sumit Agarwal, 2010. "Distance and Private Information in Lending," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(7), pages 2757-2788, July.
  24. Sandra E. Black & Philip E. Strahan, 2002. "Entrepreneurship and Bank Credit Availability," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2807-2833, December.
  25. Boot, Arnoud W. A., 2000. "Relationship Banking: What Do We Know?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 7-25, January.
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