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Culture and Multiple Firm–Bank Relationships: A Matter of Secrecy and Trust?

Fotios Pasiouras, Elie Bouri (), David Roubaud () and Emilios Galariotis ()
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David Roubaud: Montpellier Business School
Emilios Galariotis: Audencia Business School

Journal of Business Ethics, 2021, vol. 174, issue 1, No 13, 249 pages

Abstract: Abstract This study examines the impact of trust and a national culture of secretiveness on the number of bank relationships per firm. We hypothesize that the degree of openness of a firm and trust between economic agents may influence the willingness of the firm to release sensitive information to its lenders, as well as the decision between maintaining single or multiple bank relationships. Using a sample of over 8000 non-financial firms operating in 12 countries from the eurozone we provide evidence that a national culture of secrecy enhances the number of bank relationships, while trust has the opposite effect. Results are robust to the use of various estimation techniques, alternative definitions of secrecy and trust, controls for firm-level and country-level characteristics, and instrumental variables. The main implication of this finding is that the financial decisions of firms cannot be effectively examined without considering deep-rooted national cultural elements. We also find that the results are mainly driven by small and medium enterprises, implying that the higher informational opaqueness of these firms enhances the role of secrecy and trust.

Keywords: Firm–bank relationship; Culture; Trust (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G21 G41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Culture and multiple firm-bank relationships: a matter of secrecy and trust? (2020)
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DOI: 10.1007/s10551-020-04571-9

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