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Firm credit in the euro area: a tale of three crises

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Using survey data from 2009 to 2011, we analyse the effects of the recent euro area economic, financial and private debt crisis on the supply of and demand for bank finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). At the country level, we identify three distinct aspects of the recent crisis in the euro area affecting firm credit through different channels. Controlling for country fixed effects, the impact of a weak real economy on firm credit operates both by reducing firms’ demand for bank financing and by lenders increasing loan rejections and tightening terms and conditions on credit allocated. On the other hand, financial conditions have no significant effect on demand, but they do affect credit supply as we find that financial tensions worsen the chances of obtaining credit and its terms and conditions. We interpret this as evidence of a bank balance sheet channel negatively impacting credit provision. We find that private sector indebtedness has important effects on SMEs’ credit access and its terms and conditions.

Keywords: G20; G21; credit; financial crisis; small and medium enterprises; supply and demand

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036846.2013.824547

Affiliations: Central Bank of Ireland, Dame Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

Publication date: January 12, 2014

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