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December 2000

Recent Trends in Bank Loan Syndications - Evidence for 1995 to 1999 (WP 2000-10)

This publication is part of:

Collection: Economics Working Papers Archive


Bank loan syndications have become an increasingly popular and important way for commercial borrowers to satisfy their financing needs. The ability to overcome problems of adverse selection and moral hazard are critical to the development of this market. Using a panel data set constructed from the Shared National Credit Program over the period 1995 to 1999, this paper extends the work of Simons (1993) and Dennis and Mullineaux (2000) by estimating a multivariate cross-section/time-series regression model explaining an agent bank's retained share of a syndicated loan. The panel regression model focuses on the effect of information asymmetries, loan quality, and capital constraints on an agent bank's retained loan share. We also test for opportunistic behavior by agent banks. We find that bank capital, loan seasoning, and maturity have significant effects on the average loan share retained by an agent bank. More importantly, we find that, although agent banks retain larger portions of their lower-quality loans, certain agent banks specialize in the lower end of the credit spectrum, and these banks syndicate a larger share of their low-quality loans.


Jonathan Jones, William W. Lang, and Peter Nigro