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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
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200217
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  1. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1994. "A welfare comparison of intermediaries and financial markets in Germany and the U.S," Working Papers 95-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
  3. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1995. "The Effect of Credit Market Competition on Lending Relationships," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 407-43, May.
  4. Bester, H., 1990. "The Role of Collateral in a Model of Debt Renegotiation," Discussion Paper 1990-60, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. 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.
  6. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1990. "The role of banks in reducing the costs of financial distress in Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 67-88, September.
  7. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  8. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1996. "Optimal Debt Structure and the Number of Creditors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 1-25, February.
  9. Welch, Ivo, 1997. "Why Is Bank Debt Senior? A Theory of Asymmetry and Claim Priority Based on Influence Costs," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 1203-36.
  10. Ongena, Steven & Smith, David C., 2001. "The duration of bank relationships," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 449-475, September.
  11. Machauer, Achim & Weber, Martin, 1998. "Bank behavior based on internal credit ratings of borrowers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(10-11), pages 1355-1383, October.
  12. Elsas, Ralf & Krahnen, Jan Pieter, 1998. "Is relationship lending special? Evidence from credit-file data in Germany," CFS Working Paper Series 1998/05, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  13. Longhofer, Stanley D. & Santos, Joao A. C., 2000. "The Importance of Bank Seniority for Relationship Lending," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 57-89, January.
  14. Machauer, Achim & Weber, Martin, 1998. "Bank behavior based on internal credit ratings of borrowers," CFS Working Paper Series 1998/08, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  15. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-55, September.
  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. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-80678 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Ongena, S. & Smith, D.C., 2000. "Bank relationships : A review," Other publications TiSEM 993b88a5-9a0f-42de-9cec-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  19. 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.
  20. Berger, Allen N. & Udell, Gregory F., 1990. "Collateral, loan quality and bank risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 21-42, January.
  21. Sharpe, Steven A, 1990. " Asymmetric Information, Bank Lending, and Implicit Contracts: A Stylized Model of Customer Relationships," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1069-87, September.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Julian R. Franks & Kjell G. Nyborg & Walter N. Torous, 1996. "A Comparison of UK, US and German Insolvency Codes," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 25(3), Fall.
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