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Bank lending to small businesses in Latin America : does Bank origin matter?

Author

Listed:
  • Clarke, George R. G.
  • Cull, Robert
  • Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad
  • Sanchez, Susana M.

Abstract

In recent years foreign bank participation has increased tremendously in Latin America. Some observers argue that foreign bank entry will benefit Latin American banking systems by reducing the volatility of loans and deposits and increasing efficiency. Others are concerned that foreign banks might choose to extend credit only to certain customers, leaving some sectors-such as small businesses-unserved. The authors examine this issue. Using bank-level data for Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Peru during the mid-1990s, they empirically investigate whether bank origin affects the share and growth rate of bank lending to small businesses. They find that although foreign banks generally lent less to small businesses (as share of total lending) than private domestic banks, the difference is due primarily to the behavior of small foreign banks. The difference was considerably smaller for large and medium-sized banks. And in Chile and Colombia, large foreign banks might actually lend slightly more (as share of total lending) than large domestic banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Clarke, George R. G. & Cull, Robert & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad & Sanchez, Susana M., 2002. "Bank lending to small businesses in Latin America : does Bank origin matter?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2760, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2760
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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