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Bank risk rating of business loans

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  • William B. English
  • William R. Nelson

Abstract

In recent years many banks have attempted to improve the measurement and management of credit risk by assigning risk ratings to business loans. Virtually all large banks now assign such ratings. However, until recently there has been little information on the use of risk ratings by smaller banks. Recent revisions to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Terms of Business Lending and telephone consultations with more than 100 banks on the survey panel provide data on the prevalence and precision of risk rating systems at banks of all sizes. We find that the use of risk rating systems is quite widespread, but that smaller banks generally have less detailed systems than do larger banks. In addition, the new survey data allow us to asses the relationships between loan risk ratings and loan terms. Not surprisingly, riskier loans generally carry higher interest rates, even after taking account of other loan terms. There are more complex relationships between loan risk and other loan terms. Regression results indicate that banks of all sizes price for risk. We do not find a relationship between reported loan risk and delinquency and charge-off rates. However, this may reflect how recently the risk rating data have become available.

Suggested Citation

  • William B. English & William R. Nelson, 1998. "Bank risk rating of business loans," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1998-51
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Avery, Robert B. & Berger, Allen N., 1991. "Loan commitments and bank risk exposure," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 173-192, February.
    2. Thomas F. Brady & William B. English & William R. Nelson, 1998. "Recent changes to the Federal Reserve's survey of terms of business lending," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Aug, pages 604-615.
    3. Morgan, Donald P, 1998. "The Credit Effects of Monetary Policy: Evidence Using Loan Commitments," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(1), pages 102-118, February.
    4. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    5. Berger, Allen N. & Udell, Gregory F., 1990. "Collateral, loan quality and bank risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 21-42, January.
    6. Mark Carey, 1998. "Credit Risk in Private Debt Portfolios," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1363-1387, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Seth B. Carpenter & William C. Whitesell & Egon Zakrajsek, 2001. "Capital requirements, business loans, and business cycles: an empirical analysis of the standardized approach in the new Basel Capital Accord," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Fiorella De Fiore & Harald Uhlig, 2005. "Bank finance versus bond finance: what explains the differences between US and Europe?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-042, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    3. Van Laere, Elisabeth & Baesens, Bart, 2010. "The development of a simple and intuitive rating system under Solvency II," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 500-510, June.
    4. Dirk Czarnitzki & Kornelius Kraft, 2007. "Are credit ratings valuable information?," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(13), pages 1061-1070.
    5. Emel, Ahmet Burak & Oral, Muhittin & Reisman, Arnold & Yolalan, Reha, 2003. "A credit scoring approach for the commercial banking sector," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 103-123, June.
    6. Donald Morgan & Adam Ashcraft, 2003. "Using Loan Rates to Measure and Regulate Bank Risk: Findings and an Immodest Proposal," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 24(2), pages 181-200, October.
    7. Grunert, Jens & Norden, Lars & Weber, Martin, 2005. "The role of non-financial factors in internal credit ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 509-531, February.
    8. Treacy, William F. & Carey, Mark, 2000. "Credit risk rating systems at large US banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 167-201, January.
    9. James Vickery, 2005. "How and why do small firms manage interest rate risk? Evidence from commercial loans," Staff Reports 215, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    10. De Fiore, Fiorella & Uhlig, Harald, 2005. "Bank Finance versus Bond Finance: What Explains the Differences Between the US and Europe?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5213, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Nataliya Fedorenko & Dorothea Schäfer & Oleksandr Talavera, 2007. "The Effects of the Bank-Internal Ratings on the Loan Maturity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 704, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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    Keywords

    Commercial loans ; Bank loans ; Risk;

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