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How do credit ratings affect bank lending under capital constraints?

Stijn Claessens (), Andy Law and Teng Wang

No 747, BIS Working Papers from Bank for International Settlements

Abstract: Through the lens of credit risk ratings, we investigate how banks determine loan terms under capital constraints. Using a unique and comprehensive supervisory dataset of individual corporate loans in the US, we show that unexpected adjustments to banks' internal rating systems, which only alter how outsiders assess the riskiness of borrowers, trigger changes in loan terms. The effects are asymmetric: downward adjustments to ratings increase spreads by some 40 bps and decrease committed loan sizes and maturities, but upward adjustments lead to much weaker (yet opposite) effects. Importantly, we find effects to be strong for smaller, riskier, and capital constrained banks as well as for borrowers with poorer credit quality and for non-guaranteed loans. Our findings, robust in several ways, highlight the important role of regulatory capital in loan terms.

Keywords: ratings; bank capital; regulation; loan conditions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G21 G28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban
Date: 2018-09
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