Bargaining power and information in SME lending

Bargaining power and information in SME lending Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are informationally opaque and bank dependent. In SME lending, banks largely rely on soft information, because the scale and scope of hard information are limited. We analyze whether and how hard and soft information affects the borrower’s bargaining power vis-à-vis its bank. We use the fact that, for a given credit rating, certain borrowers obtain better loan terms than others to define measures of relative bargaining power. Using SME loan data from the USA and Germany, we find that more favorable soft information (management skills and character) increases borrower bargaining power. We also show that more favorable soft than hard information improves borrower bargaining power. The results are not driven by manipulation or statistical limitations of the credit ratings. Our study suggests that soft information represents an important and direct determinant of borrower bargaining power, affecting the outcomes of the loan contracting process. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Business Economics Springer Journals

Bargaining power and information in SME lending

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by The Author(s)
Subject
Business and Management; Management; Microeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Organization
ISSN
0921-898X
eISSN
1573-0913
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11187-010-9311-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are informationally opaque and bank dependent. In SME lending, banks largely rely on soft information, because the scale and scope of hard information are limited. We analyze whether and how hard and soft information affects the borrower’s bargaining power vis-à-vis its bank. We use the fact that, for a given credit rating, certain borrowers obtain better loan terms than others to define measures of relative bargaining power. Using SME loan data from the USA and Germany, we find that more favorable soft information (management skills and character) increases borrower bargaining power. We also show that more favorable soft than hard information improves borrower bargaining power. The results are not driven by manipulation or statistical limitations of the credit ratings. Our study suggests that soft information represents an important and direct determinant of borrower bargaining power, affecting the outcomes of the loan contracting process.

Journal

Small Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 19, 2011

References

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