SME lending decisions – the case of UK and German banks

Stevenson, Tony, and Pond, Keith (2016) SME lending decisions – the case of UK and German banks. Studies in Economics and Finance, 33 (4). pp. 501-508.

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to test and extend a conceptual model of risk assessment in bank lending to SMEs using five German and five UK bank case studies. Derived from research in Germany and the UK, the model postulates that factors in the external, operating and internal environments of individual banks can influence credit-risk assessment decisions.

Design/methodology/approach: The empirical data for this paper was collected during face-to-face interviews with five UK lending bankers in June 2006 and five German bankers in February 2007. The timing is important, as these were unaffected by credit-crunch considerations. The sample banks were similar in size and operating in the retail environment in their respective countries. The interviewees comprised lending officers and managers in loan departments. All interviews were conducted using a questionnaire format designed to elicit a commentary on the loan process in a reasonably unstructured way.

Findings: Notable differences emerged from these findings compared to the scene painted by existing research. The findings argue that changes in the law and banking regulations have reshaped both German and UK banking institutions. German bank employees are facing ever-increasing pressure as their employers strive to become efficient, streamlined banks with a high orientation towards their shareholders in a highly competitive market. This has a consequence for the emphasis placed on local and community factors. These findings further argue that German banks have moved their value orientations towards the British banking model to simulate the high returns achieved by British banks. German banking culture and state values are deeply embedded into the societal structure (Llewellyn, 2002; Lane and Quack, 2001). The deregulation of German banks has manifested in an adjustment of institutional behaviour, steering towards a shareholder orientation. However, even whilst German banks readjust their strategies, they continue to struggle to "shake off" their original roots and a cultural identity of stakeholder orientation. Originality/value

This study provides a historical context for the recent developments in public sector reporting and accountability in the financial banking sector in both the United Kingdom and Germany. The paper provided an insight into the determination and interpretation of European regulations.

Item ID: 49313
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-6791
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 00:01
FoR Codes: 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3502 Banking, finance and investment > 350204 Financial institutions (incl. banking) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9001 Financial Services > 900101 Finance Services @ 100%
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