Rules versus discretion in loan rate setting

G.M. Cerqueiro, H.A. Degryse, S. Ongena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Loan rates for seemingly identical borrowers often exhibit substantial dispersion. This paper investigates the determinants of the dispersion in interest rates on loans granted by banks to small and medium sized enterprises. We associate this dispersion with the loan officers’ use of “discretion” in the loan rate setting process. We find that “discretion” is most important if: (i) loans are small and unsecured; (ii) firms are small and opaque; (iii) the firm operates in a large and highly concentrated banking market; and (iv) the firm is distantly located from the lender. Consistent with the proliferation of information-technologies in the banking industry, we find a decreasing role for “discretion” over time in the provision of small credits to opaque firms. While widely used in the pricing of loans, “discretion” plays only a minor role in the decisions to grant loans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-529
JournalJournal of Financial Intermediation
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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Loans
Loan rates
Rules versus discretion
Discretion
Proliferation
Small and medium-sized enterprises
Banking industry
Interest rates
Banking
Pricing
Credit

Cite this

Cerqueiro, G.M. ; Degryse, H.A. ; Ongena, S. / Rules versus discretion in loan rate setting. In: Journal of Financial Intermediation. 2011 ; Vol. 20, No. 4. pp. 503-529.
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Cerqueiro, GM, Degryse, HA & Ongena, S 2011, 'Rules versus discretion in loan rate setting', Journal of Financial Intermediation, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 503-529. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfi.2010.12.002

Rules versus discretion in loan rate setting. / Cerqueiro, G.M.; Degryse, H.A.; Ongena, S.

In: Journal of Financial Intermediation, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2011, p. 503-529.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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