Borrowers' financial constraints and the transmission of monetary policy: evidence from financial conglomerates

Abstract: Building on recent evidence concerning the functioning of internal capital markets in financial conglomerates, we conduct a novel test of the balance-sheet channel of monetary policy. Specifically, we investigate how the response of lending to monetary policy differs across small banks that are affiliated with the same bank holding company but operate in different geographical areas. These banks face similar constraints in accessing internal and external sources of funds, but have different pools of borrowers. Because they typically concentrate their lending with small local businesses, we can exploit cross-sectional differences in local economic indicators at the time of a policy shock to study whether the strength of borrowers' balance sheets affects the response of bank lending. We find evidence that the negative response of bank loan growth to a monetary contraction is significantly stronger when borrowers have weaker balance sheets.

Keywords: Bank loans; Capital market; Monetary policy;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Staff Reports

Publication Date: 2002

Number: 153