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Collateral, relationship lending and financial distress: An empirical study on financial contracting

  • Elsas, Ralf
  • Krahnen, Jan Pieter

This paper analyses the role of collateral in loan contracting when companies are financed by multiple bank lenders and relationship lending can be present. We conjecture and empirically validate that relationship lenders, who enjoy an informational advantage over arm's-length banks, are more senior to strengthen their bargaining power in future renegotiation if borrower's face financial distress. This deters costly conflicts between lenders and fosters workout decisions by the best informed party. Consistent with our conjecture, we find that relationship lender in general have a higher probability to be collateralized, and a higher degree of collateralization (i.e. seniority). Furthermore, we show that seniority and the status of relationship lending increases the likelihood that a bank invests in a risky workout of distressed borrowers. Both findings support the view that collateral is a strategic instrument intended to influence the bargaining position of banks. Our result further suggest that seniority and relationship lending are complementary to each other.

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Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2002/17.

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Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200217
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  6. Hans Degryse & Partick Van cayseele, 1998. "Relationship Lending within a Bank-based System: Evidence from European Small Business Data," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces9816, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
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  11. Rajan, Raghuram G, 1992. " Insiders and Outsiders: The Choice between Informed and Arm's-Length Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1367-400, September.
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  16. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1995. "Relationship Lending and Lines of Credit in Small Firm Finance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(3), pages 351-81, July.
  17. Rajan, Raghuram & Winton, Andrew, 1995. " Covenants and Collateral as Incentives to Monitor," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1113-46, September.
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  19. Manove, Michael & Padilla, A Jorge & Pagano, Marco, 2001. "Collateral versus Project Screening: A Model of Lazy Banks," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 726-44, Winter.
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  22. Besanko, David & Thakor, Anjan V, 1987. "Collateral and Rationing: Sorting Equilibria in Monopolistic and Competitive Credit Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 671-89, October.
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