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“Time for a Change of Scenery”: Loan Conditions When Firms Switch Bank Branches
CEPR
2024.04.12
Firms switching banks initially receive a lower loan rate. But what if firms switch branches within the same bank? Studying the population of corporate loans originated by a large commercial bank in China from 2010 to 2020, we find that when firms switch branches, the switching loans carry a significantly lower spread than the comparable nonswitching loans as well. After switching, the new branch further reduces the loan spreads initially, but ratchets it up afterwards, surprising evidence of the existence of intra-bank hold-up! Importantly, the deployment of FinTech within the bank first mitigates but then intensifies this hold-up.