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The strategic behavior of banks during a financial crisis; evidence from the syndicated loan market

  • de Haas, Ralph
  • van Horen, Neeltje

We examine the strategic reaction of banks to the current global financial crisis. In particular, we test whether banks predominantly react by diversifying their loan portfolio or by stepping up their screening and monitoring. To this end we analyze information on nearly 17,000 syndicated loans that were granted to private borrowers in 60 countries over the period 2005-2008. We exploit the variation in lender and borrower characteristics to examine whether banks’ risk-mitigating strategies differ across borrower types. Our results show that during a financial crisis arranging banks retain larger portions of loans and form more concentrated syndicates, reflecting an increased need to screen and monitor borrowers. During a crisis, agency problems are attenuated in syndicates that lend to repeat borrowers and that are composed by experienced arrangers.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14164.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14164
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  1. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 2003. "The institutional memory hypothesis and the procyclicality of bank lending behavior," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-02, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1992. " Insiders and Outsiders: The Choice between Informed and Arm's-Length Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1367-400, September.
  3. Allen, Franklin, 1990. "The market for information and the origin of financial intermediation," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 3-30, March.
  4. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Detragiache, Enrica & Gupta, Poonam, 2000. "Inside the crisis : an empirical analysis of banking systems in distress," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2431, The World Bank.
  5. Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders & Viral V. Acharya, 2002. "Should banks be diversified? Evidence from individual bank loan portfolios," BIS Working Papers 118, Bank for International Settlements.
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  7. Katerina Simons, 1993. "Why do banks syndicate loans?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jan, pages 45-52.
  8. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
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  11. Dell’Ariccia, G. & Igan, D. & Laeven, L., 2009. "Credit Booms and Lending Standards : Evidence from the Subprime Mortgage Market," Discussion Paper 2009-46 S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  13. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. "Why Bank Credit Policies Fluctuate: A Theory and Some Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 399-441, May.
  14. Steven Ongena, 1999. "Lending Relationships, Bank Default and Economic Activity," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 257-280.
  15. Broecker, Thorsten, 1990. "Credit-Worthiness Tests and Interbank Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 429-52, March.
  16. Jonathan D. Jones & William W. Lang & Peter J. Nigro, 2005. "Agent Bank Behavior In Bank Loan Syndications," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 28(3), pages 385-402.
  17. Christophe J. Godlewski, 2008. "What Drives the Arrangement Timetable of Bank Loan Syndication ?," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2008-02, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
  18. Dennis, Steven A. & Mullineaux, Donald J., 2000. "Syndicated Loans," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 404-426, October.
  19. Chowdhry, Bhagwan, 1991. "What Is Different about International Lending?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(1), pages 121-48.
  20. Diamond, Douglas W, 1991. "Monitoring and Reputation: The Choice between Bank Loans and Directly Placed Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 689-721, August.
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