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Bank Size and Lending Relationships in Japan

  • Hirofumi Uchida
  • Gregory F. Udell
  • Wako Watanabe

Current theoretical and empirical research suggests that small banks have a comparative advantage in processing soft information and delivering relationship lending. The most comprehensive analysis of this view found using U.S. data that smaller SMEs borrow from smaller banks and smaller banks have stronger relationships with their borrowers (Berger, Miller, Petersen, Rajan, and Stein 2005) (BMPRS). We employ essentially the same methodology as BMPRS on a unique Japanese data set but our findings are different in interesting ways. Like BMPRS we find that more opaque firms are more likely to borrow from small banks. Unlike BMPRS, however, our methodology allows us to attribute this to the ability of large banks to deliver financial statement lending. Finally, quite unlike BMPRS we do not, on balance, find that small banks have stronger relationships with their SMEs. We offer some speculation on potential explanations for these differences. One possibility is that the credit culture and deployment of SME lending technologies differ in Japan from the U.S. However, we note that strong conclusions cannot be reached without more research.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 06029.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:06029
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  1. Berger, Allen N. & Udell, Gregory F., 2006. "A more complete conceptual framework for SME finance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2945-2966, November.
  2. 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.
  3. Boot, Arnoud W. A., 2000. "Relationship Banking: What Do We Know?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 7-25, January.
  4. Masaji Kano & Hirofumi Uchida & Gregory F. Udell & Wako Watanabe, 2006. "Information Verifiability, Bank Organization, Bank Competition and Bank-Borrower Relationships," Discussion papers 06003, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  5. Rebel A. Cole & Lawrence G. Goldberg & Lawrence J. White, 1997. "Cookie-Cutter versus Character: The Micro Structure of Small Business Lending by Large and Small Banks," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-022, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
  6. Allen N. Berger & Nathan H. Miller & Mitchell A. Petersen & Raghuram G. Rajan & Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Does Function Follow Organzizational Form? Evidence From the Lending Practices of Large and Small Banks," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1976, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Uchida, Hirofumi & Udell, Gregory F. & Watanabe, Wako, 2013. "Are trade creditors relationship lenders?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25, pages 24-38.
  8. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "Does Local Financial Development Matter?," NBER Working Papers 8923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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 351-81, July.
  10. Rene M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2001. "Culture, Openness, and Finance," NBER Working Papers 8222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jonathan Scott, 2004. "Small Business and the Value of Community Financial Institutions," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 207-230, April.
  12. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-80678 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Information Production and Capital Allocation: Decentralized versus Hierarchical Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 1891-1921, October.
  14. David Carter & James McNulty & James Verbrugge, 2004. "Do Small Banks have an Advantage in Lending? An Examination of Risk-Adjusted Yields on Business Loans at Large and Small Banks," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 233-252, April.
  15. Elyasiani, Elyas & Goldberg, Lawrence G., 2004. "Relationship lending: a survey of the literature," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 315-330.
  16. Ongena, S. & Smith, D.C., 2000. "Bank relationships : A review," Other publications TiSEM 993b88a5-9a0f-42de-9cec-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  17. Hirofumi Uchida & Gregory F. Udell & Nobuyoshi Yamori, 2006. "Loan Officers and Relationship Lending," Discussion papers 06031, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  18. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  19. Arito Ono & Iichiro Uesugi, 2005. "The Role of Collateral and Personal Guarantees in Relationship Lending: Evidence from Japan's Small Business Loan Market," Discussion papers 05027, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  20. Jose M. Liberti & Atif R. Mian, 2009. "Estimating the Effect of Hierarchies on Information Use," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 4057-4090, October.
  21. Hirofumi Uchida & Gregory F. Udell & Nobuyoshi Yamori, 2006. "SME financing and the choice of lending technology," Discussion papers 06025, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
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