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Internal Control and Strategic Communication within Firms – Evidence from Bank Lending

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  • Brown, Martin

    ()

  • Schaller, Matthias

    ()

  • Westerfeld, Simone

    ()

  • Heusler, Markus

    ()

Abstract

The allocation of authority affects the communication of information about clients within banks. We document that in small business lending internal control leads loan officers to propose inflated credit ratings for their clients. Inflated ratings are, however, anticipated and partly reversed by the credit officers responsible for approving credit assessments. More experienced loan officers inflate those parameters of a credit rating which are least likely to be corrected by credit officers. Our analysis covers 10,568 internal ratings for 3,661 small business clients at six retail banks. We provide empirical support to theories suggesting that internal control can induce strategic communication within organizations when senders and receivers of information have diverging interests. Our findings also point to the limits of the four-eyes principle as a risk-management tool in financial institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Martin & Schaller, Matthias & Westerfeld, Simone & Heusler, Markus, 2015. "Internal Control and Strategic Communication within Firms – Evidence from Bank Lending," Working Papers on Finance 1504, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance, revised Jul 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:sfwpfi:2015:04
    as

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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/sfwpfi/WPF-1504.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1997. "Formal and Real Authority in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-29, February.
    2. Shawn Cole & Martin Kanz & Leora Klapper, 2015. "Incentivizing Calculated Risk-Taking: Evidence from an Experiment with Commercial Bank Loan Officers," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(2), pages 537-575, April.
    3. Navin Kartik, 2009. "Strategic Communication with Lying Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 1359-1395.
    4. Thorsten Beck & Patrick Behr & Andre Guettler, 2013. "Gender and Banking: Are Women Better Loan Officers?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(4), pages 1279-1321.
    5. Florian Heider & Roman Inderst, 2012. "Loan Prospecting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(8), pages 2381-2415.
    6. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    7. Sumit Agarwal, 2010. "Distance and Private Information in Lending," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(7), pages 2757-2788, July.
    8. Wouter Dessein, 2002. "Authority and Communication in Organizations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 811-838.
    9. Jose M. Liberti & Atif R. Mian, 2009. "Estimating the Effect of Hierarchies on Information Use," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(10), pages 4057-4090, October.
    10. Grunert, Jens & Norden, Lars & Weber, Martin, 2005. "The role of non-financial factors in internal credit ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 509-531, February.
    11. Andrew Hertzberg & Jose Maria Liberti & Daniel Paravisini, 2010. "Information and Incentives Inside the Firm: Evidence from Loan Officer Rotation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 795-828, June.
    12. Uchida, Hirofumi & Udell, Gregory F. & Yamori, Nobuyoshi, 2012. "Loan officers and relationship lending to SMEs," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 97-122.
    13. Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Information Production and Capital Allocation: Decentralized versus Hierarchical Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 1891-1921, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:etrans:v:25:y:2017:i:3:p:377-437 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gropp, Reint & Guettler, Andre, 2018. "Hidden gems and borrowers with dirty little secrets: Investment in soft information, borrower self-selection and competition," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 26-39.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internal Control; Authority; Information; Small Business Lending;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • M2 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics

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