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Checking accounts and bank monitoring

Author

Listed:
  • Loretta J. Mester
  • Leonard I. Nakamura
  • Micheline Renault

Abstract

Superseded by the paper "Transactions accounts and loan monitoring" (Working Paper 05-14) ; Do checking accounts help banks monitor borrowers? If they do, the rationale both for allowing regulated providers of liquidity to also make risky loans to commercial borrowers and for the government's providing deposit insurance becomes clearer. Using a unique set of data that includes monthly and annual information on small-business borrowers at an anonymous Canadian bank, we provide evidence that a bank has exclusive access to a continuous stream of borrower data that helps it to monitor the borrower, namely, the firm's checking account balances at the bank. In this paper, which to our knowledge is the first direct empirical test of the usefulness of checking account information in monitoring commercial borrowers, we provide "smoking gun" evidence that banks are special. We also provide detailed evidence of how a commercial bank uses this information to determine its credit ratings of borrowers and adjust the intensity of its monitoring activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Loretta J. Mester & Leonard I. Nakamura & Micheline Renault, 2001. "Checking accounts and bank monitoring," Working Papers 01-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:01-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Berlin, Mitchell & Mester, Loretta J, 1999. "Deposits and Relationship Lending," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(3), pages 579-607.
    2. Anil K. Kashyap & Raghuram Rajan & Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Banks as Liquidity Providers: An Explanation for the Coexistence of Lending and Deposit-Taking," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 33-73, February.
    3. Black, Fischer, 1975. "Bank funds management in an efficient market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 323-339, December.
    4. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    5. Fama, Eugene F., 1985. "What's different about banks?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 29-39, January.
    6. Berlin, Mitchell & Mester, Loretta J., 1998. "On the profitability and cost of relationship lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 873-897, August.
    7. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2001. "Liquidity Risk, Liquidity Creation, and Financial Fragility: A Theory of Banking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 287-327, April.
    8. 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.
    9. Billett, Matthew T & Flannery, Mark J & Garfinkel, Jon A, 1995. " The Effect of Lender Identity on a Borrowing Firm's Equity Return," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(2), pages 699-718, June.
    10. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    11. 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.
    12. Leonard I. Nakamura, 1993. "Recent research in commercial banking: information and lending," Working Papers 93-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    13. Preece, Dianna & Mullineaux, Donald J., 1996. "Monitoring, loan renegotiability, and firm value: The role of lending syndicates," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 577-593, April.
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    Keywords

    Checking accounts ; Bank loans;

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