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The Effects of Banking Mergers on Loan Contracts, Journal of Finance


This paper studies the effects of banking mergers on individual loan borrowers. Using information on individual loan contracts between banks and companies, I analyze the consequences of banking consolidation on banks' credit policies. I find that (i) in-market mergers are beneficial to borrowers if these mergers involve the acquisition of banks with small market shares. In these cases, interest rates charged by the consolidated banks decrease, consistently with the view that horizontal mergers generate efficiency gains. However, as the local market share of the acquired bank increases, the efficiency effect is offset by market power; (ii) mergers have different distributional effects across borrowers of different sizes; (iii) small borrowers of target banks are less likely to borrow in the future from the consolidated bank than borrowers of similar banks not involved in mergers. The decision to deny credit to small borrowers does not seem to be based on the quality of the borrower, confirming potential adverse welfare effects of the banking consolidation on the availability of credit to small businesses.




Paola Sapienza

Date Published



Sapienza, Paola. 2002. The Effects of Banking Mergers on Loan Contracts. Journal of Finance. 57(1): 329-367.


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