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Commercial lending and distance: evidence from Community Reinvestment Act data

  • Kenneth P. Brevoort
  • Timothy H. Hannan

Innovations such as credit scoring have increased the ability of banks to lend to distant business borrowers, which could expand the geographic market for small business loans. However, if this effect is limited to a few large banks, the market may become segmented and lending distance at local banks actually decreases. This paper, using a new data source and a spatial econometric model, empirically estimates the relationship between distance and commercial lending and how this relationship is evolving over time. We find distance is negatively associated with the likelihood of a local commercial loan being made and that the deterrent effect of distance is consistently more important, the smaller the size of the bank. We find no evidence that distance is becoming less important in the United States in recent years. In fact, the bulk of the evidence suggests that distance may be of increasing importance in local market lending.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2004-24.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2004-24
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  1. Paul S. Calem & Gerald A. Carlino, 1989. "The concentration/conduct relationship in bank deposit markets," Working Papers 89-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Allen N. Berger & Timothy H. Hannan, 1988. "The price-concentration relationship in banking," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Hans Degryse & Steven Ongena, 2002. "Distance, Lending Relationships, and Competition," CSEF Working Papers 80, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  4. Chiappori, P.A. & Perez-Castrillo, D. & Verdier, T., 1992. "Spatial Competition in the Banking System: Localization, Cross Subsidies and the Regulation of Deposit Rates," DELTA Working Papers 92-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  5. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 1998. "The economics of small business finance: the roles of private equity and debt markets in the financial growth cycle," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. 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.
  7. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Marquez, Robert, 2004. "Information and bank credit allocation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 185-214, April.
  8. Boot, Arnoud W. A., 2000. "Relationship Banking: What Do We Know?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 7-25, January.
  9. Hannan, Timothy H., 1991. "Bank commercial loan markets and the role of market structure: evidence from surveys of commercial lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 133-149, February.
  10. Robert Hauswald & Robert Marquez, 2006. "Competition and Strategic Information Acquisition in Credit Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(3), pages 967-1000.
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