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Loan Officer Authority and Small Business Lending.Evidence from a survey

  • benvenuti, m.
  • casolaro, l.
  • del prete, s.
  • mistrulli, p. e.

A vast literature has emphasized that small banks are at a comparative advantage in small business lending. In this paper, we show that apart from size, which is negatively correlated with bank specialization in small business lending, organizational characteristics affect bank loan portfolio choices. By using a unique dataset based on a recent survey of Italian banks, we find that after having controlled for bank size, a branch loan officer’s authority has a key role in explaining bank specialization in small business lending. In particular, banks which delegate more decision-making power to their branch loan officers are more willing to lend to small firms than other banks. We approximate loan officers’ authority by controlling for several factors which shape their incentives: loan officer turnover, the amount of money up to which they are allowed to lend autonomously, their role in loan approval and in setting loan interest rates, the kind of information (soft versus hard information) used for screening and monitoring borrowers, and the structure of their compensation schemes.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/26475/1/MPRA_paper_26475.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 26475.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26475
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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 37, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Marquez, Robert, 2004. "Information and bank credit allocation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 185-214, April.
  3. Gabriel Jiménez & Vicente Salas-Fumás & Jesús Saurina, 2008. "Organizational distance and use of collateral for business loans," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0816, Banco de Espa�a.
  4. repec:dgr:kubtil:2007018 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Degryse, H.A. & Laeven, L. & Ongena, S., 2007. "The Impact of Organizational Structure and Lending Technology on Banking Competition," Discussion Paper 2007-019, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
  6. Pietro ALESSANDRINI & Andrea PRESBITERO & Alberto ZAZZARO, 2006. "Banks, Distances and Financing Constraints for Firms," Working Papers 266, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  7. repec:dgr:kubtil:2007019 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Berger, Allen N. & Miller, Nathan H. & Petersen, Mitchell A. & Rajan, Raghuram G. & Stein, Jeremy C., 2005. "Does function follow organizational form? Evidence from the lending practices of large and small banks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 237-269, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 2001. "Small business credit availability and relationship lending: the importance of bank organizational structure," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Pietro Alessandrini & Manuela Croci & Alberto Zazzaro, 2005. "The geography of banking power: role of function distance," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 58(235), pages 129-167.
  12. 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.
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