Lending Relationships and Loan Contract Terms
Review of Financial Studies, Forthcoming
68 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2008 Last revised: 29 Feb 2012
Date Written: July 28, 2008
Does repeated borrowing from the same lender affect loan contract terms? We find that such borrowing translates into a 10 to 17 bps lowering of loan spreads. These results hold using multiple approaches (Propensity Score Matching, Instrumental Variables, and Treatment Effects Model) that control for the endogeneity of relationships. We find that relationships are especially valuable when borrower transparency is low and the moral hazard among lending syndicate members is high. We also provide a demarcation line between relationship and transactional lending. We find that spreads charged for relationship loans and non-relationship loans become indistinguishable if the borrower is in the top 30% when ranked by asset size. Similar dissipation of relationship benefits occurs if the borrower has public rated debt or is part of the S&P 500 index. We find that past relationships reduce collateral requirements. Relationships are also associated with shorter debt maturity especially for the lowest quality borrowers. Our results are robust to an estimation methodology which allows loan spread, collateral requirements, and loan maturity to be determined jointly using an instrumental variables approach. We also find relationship borrowers obtain larger loans (scaled by the borrower's asset size) compared to non-relationship borrowers. Our results imply that, even for firms that have multiple sources of outside financing, borrowing from a prior lender obtains better loan terms.
Keywords: Relationships, Banking, Collateral, Maturity
JEL Classification: G2, G21, G30, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation