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Filippo Ippolito

1 August 2014
We study how the consequences of violations of covenants associated with bank lines of credit to firms vary with the financial health of lenders. Following a violation banks restrict usage of lines of credit by raising spreads, shortening maturities, tightening covenants, or cancelling the line or reducing its size. Even though the frequency of covenant violations is fairly stable during the period 2002-2011, the reaction of banks to violations became significantly more restrictive during the recent crisis. Banks in worse financial health are more likely to restrict access to credit lines following a violation, and violations driven by lender health have capital structure and real implications for firms. This behavior is at the heart of a new bank liquidity channel. This channel complements the traditional bank lending channel, which focuses on small financially constrained firms, because credit lines are commonly used by large, high credit quality firms to provide insurance against loss of access to external finance.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G31 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Capital Budgeting, Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies, Capacity
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
E22 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Capital, Investment, Capacity
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
ECB Lamfalussy Fellowship Programme
20 April 2016
By providing liquidity to depositors and credit line borrowers, banks are exposed to doubleruns on assets and liabilities. For identification, we exploit the 2007 freeze of the European interbank market and the Italian Credit Register. After the shock, there are sizeable, aggregate double-runs. In the cross-section, pre-shock interbank exposure is (unconditionally) unrelated to post-shock credit line drawdowns. However, conditioning on firm observable and unobservable characteristics, higher pre-shock interbank exposure implies more post-shock drawdowns. We show that is the result of active pre-shock liquidity risk management by more exposed banks granting credit lines to firms that run less in a crisis.
JEL Code
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation