The Death of a Regulator: Strict Supervision, Bank Lending and Business Activity

58 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2017

See all articles by Joao Granja

Joao Granja

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Christian Leuz

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Center for Financial Studies (CFS); University of Pennsylvania - Wharton Financial Institutions Center; CESifo Research Network

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

An important question in banking is how strict supervision affects bank lending and in turn local business activity. Forcing banks to recognize losses could choke off lending and amplify local economic woes, especially after financial crises. But stricter supervision could also lead to changes in how banks assess loans and manage their loan portfolios. Estimating such effects is challenging. We exploit the extinction of the thrift regulator (OTS) – a large change in prudential supervision, affecting ten percent of all U.S. depository institutions. Using this event, we analyze economic links between strict supervision, bank lending and business activity. We first show that the OTS replacement indeed resulted in stricter supervision of former OTS banks. We then analyze the lending effects of this regulatory change and show that former OTS banks increase small business lending by approximately 10 percent. This increase stems primarily from well-capitalized banks and those more affected by the new regime. These findings suggest that stricter supervision operates not only through capital but can also overcome frictions in bank management, leading to more lending and a reallocation of loans. Consistent with the latter, we find increases in business entry and exit in counties with greater expose to OTS banks.

Keywords: Bank regulation, Enforcement, Loan losses, Aggregate outcomes, Prudential oversight, Business lending, Entry and exit

JEL Classification: E44, E51, G21, G28, G31, G38, K22, K23, L51, M41, M48

Suggested Citation

Granja, Joao and Leuz, Christian, The Death of a Regulator: Strict Supervision, Bank Lending and Business Activity (October 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3092284 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3092284

Joao Granja

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Room 326
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Christian Leuz (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-1996 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/christian.leuz/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.nber.org

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Center for Financial Studies (CFS) ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

University of Pennsylvania - Wharton Financial Institutions Center

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6218
United States

CESifo Research Network

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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