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Does Discretion in Lending Increase Bank Risk? Borrower Self-Selection and Loan Officer Capture Effects

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  • Gropp, R.
  • Grundl, C.
  • Guttler, A.

Abstract

In this paper we analyze whether discretionary lending increases bank risk. We use a panel dataset of matched bank and borrower data. It offers the chief advantages that we can directly identify soft information in banks’ lending decisions and that we observe ex post defaults of borrowers.Consistent with the previous literature, we find that smaller banks use more discretion in lending. We also show that borrowers self-select to banks depending on whether their soft information is positive or negative. Financially riskier borrowers with positive soft information are more likely to obtain credit from relationship banks. Risky borrowers with negative soft information have the same chance to receive a loan from a relationship or a transaction bank. These selection effects are stronger in more competitive markets, as predicted by theory. However, while relationship banks have financially riskier borrowers, ex post default is not more probable compared to borrowers at transaction banks. As a consequence, relationship banks do not have higher credit risk levels. Loan officers at relationship banks thus do not use discretion in lending to grant loans to ex post riskier borrowers.

Suggested Citation

  • Gropp, R. & Grundl, C. & Guttler, A., 2012. "Does Discretion in Lending Increase Bank Risk? Borrower Self-Selection and Loan Officer Capture Effects," Discussion Paper 2012-030, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:bfec5360-2a2b-47e4-ba3f-de128c7518e0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Cornée, 2014. "Soft Information and Default Prediction in Cooperative and Social Banks," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 3(1), pages 89-103, June.
    2. Andrea Bellucci & Alexander Borisov & Alberto Zazzaro, 2016. "Bank Organization and Loan Contracting in Small Business Financing," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 118, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    3. Stefano Filomeni & Gregory F. Udell & Alberto Zazzaro, 2016. "Hardening Soft Information: How Far Has Technology Taken Us?," CSEF Working Papers 455, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    4. Ono, Arito & Hasumi, Ryo & Hirata, Hideaki, 2014. "Differentiated use of small business credit scoring by relationship lenders and transactional lenders: Evidence from firm–bank matched data in Japan," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 371-380.
    5. repec:eee:jfinec:v:129:y:2018:i:3:p:608-628 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Agarwal, Sumit & Ben-David, Itzhak, 2018. "Loan prospecting and the loss of soft information," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(3), pages 608-628.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    soft information; discretionary lending; relationship bank; bank risk;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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