IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Cookie-cutter versus character: the micro structure of small business lending by large and small banks


  • Rebel A. Cole
  • Lawrence G. Goldberg
  • Lawrence J. White


The recent consolidation in the banking system has focused attention on the difference in lending between large and small banks, since large banks lend proportionally less to small business. We use a newly available survey of small business finances conducted by the Federal Reserve System to analyze the micro-level differences between large banks and small banks in the loan approval process. We find that large banks (over $1 billion in assets) appear to employ standard criteria obtained from financial statements in the loan decision process, while small banks (less than $1 billion in assets) deviate from these criteria more and appear to rely on their impression of the character of the borrower to a larger extent. These "cookie-cutter" and "character" approaches are consistent with the incentives and environments facing large and small banks.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Rebel A. Cole & Lawrence G. Goldberg & Lawrence J. White, 1999. "Cookie-cutter versus character: the micro structure of small business lending by large and small banks," Proceedings 777, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhpr:777

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedhpr:777. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Lauren Wiese (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.