Did pre-crisis mortgage lending limit post-crisis corporate lending? Evidence from UK bank balance sheets

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 03 March 2017

Working Paper No. 651
By Lu Zhang, Arzu Uluc and Dirk Bezemer

Was the bank credit crunch following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 in many economies due to a loan supply collapse or to a decrease in loan demand? This paper investigates the effects of UK banks’ pre-crises exposure to residential property markets on their post-crisis business lending to explore the existence of a negative post-crisis loan supply shock. We isolate the loan supply effect from a loan demand effect by using a unique quasi-experimental setting and a rich, tailor-made micro-level data set on bank lending volumes, bank balance sheets and mortgage loan characteristics. Controlling for a range of bank-specific factors, we find that banks with larger shares of residential mortgages in total loans in 2008 Q2 reduced their lending to business more after 2008 Q3. Post-crisis lending to business is also sensitive to the riskiness of banks’ mortgage portfolios. Banks having more mortgages to borrowers with impaired credit history, or more mortgages to the self-employed, or mortgages with higher loan to value ratios prior to the crisis reduced their lending to non-financial businesses more.

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