Going-Concern Debt of Financial Intermediaries
65 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2021
Date Written: November 15, 2020
We study asset and debt characteristics of US bank holding companies. We show that financial institutions, especially large institutions, are not just about holding discrete assets. Services and going-concern values are important, and capital market debt against going-concern values accounts for 10% to 15% of total assets, comparable to the volume of capital market debt against discrete assets. We find that financial institutions' debt against going-concern values has weak monitoring, relative to similar debt among non-financial firms. We argue that weak monitoring prevails because creditors cannot easily punish or restructure these institutions should they violate covenants, which limits covenants' usefulness.
Keywords: financial institutions, going-concern debt, debt covenants, creditor control
JEL Classification: G21, G28, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation