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Who Needs Credit and Who Gets Credit in Eastern Europe?

Author

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  • Martin Brown
  • Steven Ongena
  • Alexander Popov
  • Pinar Yesin

Abstract

Based on survey data covering 8,387 firms in 20 countries we compare credit demand and credit supply for firms in Eastern Europe to those for firms in selected Western European countries. We find that, while 30% of firms do not need credit in Eastern Europe, their need for credit is higher than in Western Europe. The firm-level determinants of credit needs in Eastern Europe are quite similar to that in Western Europe: Firms with alternative financings sources, i.e. government-owned, foreign-owned and internally financed firms, are less likely to need credit. Small firms are also less likely to demand credit than larger firms, suggesting that they may have limited investment opportunities. We find that a higher share of firms is discouraged from applying for a loan in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe. Firms in Eastern Europe seem particularly discouraged by high interest rates compared to firms in Western Europe, with collateral conditions and loan application procedures also more discouraging. The higher rate of discouraged firms in Eastern Europe is related to a stronger reluctance of small and financially opaque firms to apply for a loan compared to Western Europe. While many discouraged firms correctly anticipate that their loan applications would be rejected, a large majority of discouraged firms seem to be creditworthy. At the country-level we find that the higher rate of discouraged firms in Eastern Europe is driven more by the presence of foreign banks than by the macroeconomic environment or the lack of creditor protection. We find no evidence that foreign bank presence leads to stricter loan approval decisions. Our findings suggest to policy makers that the low incidence of bank credit among firms in Eastern Europe, compared to Western Europe, is not driven by less need for credit or banks' reluctance to extend loans. The main driver seems to be that many (creditworthy) firms are discouraged from applying for a loan, due to high interest rates, collateral conditions and cumbersome lending procedures. As discouragement is particularly high among small and opaque firms, as well as in countries with a strong presence of foreign banks, it seems that firms perceive lending standards to have become more reliant on "hard information" with the entry of foreign banks. However, as loan rejection rates are not related to foreign bank presence, it seems that firms' perceptions of the likely lending conditions may be too pessimistic. Thus more transparency about credit eligibility and conditions may improve credit access, particularly in countries with a high presence of foreign banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Brown & Steven Ongena & Alexander Popov & Pinar Yesin, 2010. "Who Needs Credit and Who Gets Credit in Eastern Europe?," Working Papers 2010-09, Swiss National Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2010-09
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    Cited by:

    1. Szabó, Zsolt, 2019. "Elbátortalanodott hiteligénylők a vállalati szektorban [Discouraged borrowers in the corporate sector]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 1145-1186.
    2. Nakhoda, Aadil, 2012. "The influence of financial leverage of firms on their international trading activities," MPRA Paper 35765, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Popov, Alexander & Ongena, Steven, 2011. "Interbank market integration, loan rates, and firm leverage," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 544-559, March.
    4. Fidrmuc, Jarko & Hake, Mariya & Stix, Helmut, 2013. "Households’ foreign currency borrowing in Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1880-1897.
    5. Annalisa Ferrando & Klaas Mulier, 2015. "Firms’ Financing Constraints: Do Perceptions Match the Actual Situation?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 46(1), pages 87-117.
    6. Matjaž Volk & Polona Trefalt, 2014. "Access to Credit as a Growth Constraint," Journal of Banking and Financial Economics, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 1(1), pages 29-39, May.
    7. Ongena, Steven & Popov, Alexander & Udell, Gregory F., 2013. "“When the cat's away the mice will play”: Does regulation at home affect bank risk-taking abroad?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(3), pages 727-750.
    8. Peter Egger & Christian Keuschnigg, 2015. "Innovation, Trade, and Finance," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 121-157, May.
    9. Alexander Popov, 2016. "Monetary Policy, Bank Capital, and Credit Supply: A Role for Discouraged and Informally Rejected Firms," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(1), pages 95-141, March.
    10. Popov, Alexander & Udell, Gregory F., 2010. "Cross-border banking and the international transmission of financial distress during the crisis of 2007-2008," Working Paper Series 1203, European Central Bank.
    11. Bijsterbosch, Martin & Dahlhaus, Tatjana, 2011. "Determinants of credit-less recoveries," Working Paper Series 1358, European Central Bank.
    12. Greetje Everaert & Natasha X Che & Nan Geng & Bertrand Gruss & Gregorio Impavido & Yinqiu Lu & Christian Saborowski & Jérôme Vandenbussche & Li Zeng, 2015. "Does Supply or Demand Drive the Credit Cycle? Evidence from Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe," IMF Working Papers 2015/015, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Kadri Männasoo & Jaanika Meriküll, 2015. "The impact of firm financing constraints on R&D over the business cycle," Working Papers 348, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banking; Credit; Transition economies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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