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How committed are bank lines of credit? Experiences in the subprime mortgage crisis

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  • Rocco Huang

Abstract

Using the subprime mortgage crisis as a shock, this paper shows that commercial borrowers served by more distressed banks (as measured by recent bank stock returns or the nonperforming loan ratio) took down fewer funds from precommitted, formal lines of credit. The credit constraints affected mainly smaller, riskier (by internal loan ratings), and shorter-relationship borrowers, and depended also on the lenders' size, liquidity condition, capitalization position, and core deposit funding. The evidence suggests that credit lines provided only contingent and partial insurance during the crisis since bank conditions appeared to influence credit line utilization in the short term. It provides a new explanation as to why credit lines are not perfect substitutes for cash holdings for some (e.g. small) firms. Finally, loan level analyses show that more distressed banks charged higher credit spreads on newly negotiated loans but not on funds disbursed from precommitted, formal credit lines. The author's analyses are based on commercial loan flow data from the confidential Survey of Terms of Business Lending (STBL).

Suggested Citation

  • Rocco Huang, 2010. "How committed are bank lines of credit? Experiences in the subprime mortgage crisis," Working Papers 10-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:10-25
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    File URL: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/publications/working-papers/2010/wp10-25.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Jiménez, Gabriel & Ongena, Steven & Peydró, José-Luis & Saurina, Jesús, 2010. "Credit supply - Identifying balance-sheet channels with loan applications and granted loans," Working Paper Series 1179, European Central Bank.
    2. Jose M. Berrospide & Ralf R. Meisenzahl & Briana D. Sullivan, 2012. "Credit line use and availability in the financial crisis: the importance of hedging," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Lamont K. Black & Richard J. Rosen, 2016. "Monetary Policy, Loan Maturity, and Credit Availability," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(1), pages 199-230, March.
    4. Carpenter, Seth & Demiralp, Selva & Eisenschmidt, Jens, 2014. "The effectiveness of non-standard monetary policy in addressing liquidity risk during the financial crisis: The experiences of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 107-129.

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    Keywords

    Commercial credit ; Global financial crisis;

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