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Bank Intermediation and Small Business Lending


  • Susanne Prantl
  • Matthias Almus
  • Jürgen Egeln
  • Dirk Engel


Loan financing, especially long term bank loan financing, is important for young or small firms in Germany. A large share of all small business lending in Germany originates in public financing programs and cooperative banks, (non-cooperative) private sector credit banks as well as savings banks mediate in the assignment of loans from these programs. Our empirical analyses of this loan type provide insights into the small business loan assignment behavior of the three different bank groups in general. Using various econometric techniques, observation periods and data sources -including detailed data on 6.880 firms- we find three robust, originate results: Not only recently, but already at the beginning of the 1990s credit banks played no substantial, statistically significant role in small business lending. Cooperative and savings banks have, in contrast, a strong, significant positive influence on young, small firms’ loan access. In addition, the loan assignment behavior of the two latter groups is found to be very similar. This is an important result given the ongoing controversial discussion on reforming the German savings bank sector. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Bankintermediation bei der Kreditvergabe an junge oder kleine Unternehmen) In diesem Beitrag wird das Verhalten von Genossenschaftsbanken, Kreditbanken und Sparkassen bei der Vergabe langfristiger Kredite an junge, kleine Unternehmen untersucht. Dies geschieht am Beispiel von Krediten aus öffentlichen Förderprogrammen, die in Deutschland einen substantiellen Anteil aller langfristigen KMU-Kredite ausmachen und deren Allokation die drei Bankengruppen direkt involviert. Entsprechend erlauben die empirischen Analysen Rückschlüsse auf die allgemeinen Vergabestrategien der Bankengruppen bei KMU-Krediten. Unter Verwendung verschiedener Schätzverfahren, Analysezeiträume und Datenquellen, darunter detaillierte Unternehmensdaten für 6.880 Unternehmen, können wir drei robuste, in dieser Form einmalige Hauptresultate aufzeigen: Kreditbanken spielen nicht erst in jüngerer Vergangenheit, sondern auch schon zu Beginn der 90er Jahre keine starke, statistisch signifikante Rolle bei der Kreditversorgung der Mehrheit junger, kleiner Unternehmen. Genossenschaftsbanken und Sparkassen haben nicht nur im Gegensatz zu Kreditbanken substantielle, signifikant positive Einflüsse, sondern die Effekte dieser beiden Bankgruppen sind zudem sehr ähnlich. Dieses letzte Ergebnis ist von besonderem Interesse im Rahmen der aktuellen Kontroverse um Reformen für den deutschen Sparkassensektor.

Suggested Citation

  • Susanne Prantl & Matthias Almus & Jürgen Egeln & Dirk Engel, 2006. "Bank Intermediation and Small Business Lending," CIG Working Papers SP II 2006-21, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  • Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:spii2006-21
    Note: Available only in German!

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    Cited by:

    1. Jarko Fidrmuc & Christa Hainz, 2008. "Integrating with their Feet: Cross-Border Lending at the German-Austrian Border," CESifo Working Paper Series 2279, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Jarko Fidrmuc & Christa Hainz, 2008. "Grenzüberschreitende Kreditvergabe: Das Beispiel von Deutschland und Österreich," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 61(23), pages 25-29, December.
    3. Jarko Fidrmuc & Christa Hainz, 2008. "Integrating with their Feet: Cross-Border Lending at the German-Austrian Border," CESifo Working Paper Series 2279, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item


    Kreditvergabeverhalten von Genossenschaftsbanken; Kreditbanken und Sparkassen; Finanzierung junger; kleiner Unternehmen; langfristige Kredite und öffentliche Förderprogramme; Reformierung des deutschen Sparkassensektors;

    JEL classification:

    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • 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
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

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