, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 717-732

Bank loan terms and conditions for Eurozone SMEs

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Abstract

The evolution of bank loan price and non-price terms and conditions (T&Cs) for the 2009–2011 period are investigated using firm-level survey data for a sample of Eurozone small and medium-sized enterprises. The raw firm responses, which are of a discrete nature denoting tightening or easing of the T&Cs, or no change at all, are modeled by a bivariate ordered probit model. According to the results obtained, there are sizeable differences between countries, with the protagonists of the sovereign debt crisis (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain) exhibiting predicted probabilities of tightening that are considerably above the Eurozone average. In addition, price T&Cs exhibit a substantial tightening over time. Finally, firms’ net interest expenses and profitability emerge as important determinants in explaining the cross-sectional variation in bank loan T&Cs that they face.

This paper uses data from the EC/ECB Survey on the access to finance of SMEs for which a confidentiality declaration has been signed.