October 2020

Banks, Non Banks, and Lending Standards

R. Matthew Darst, Ehraz Refayet, Alexandros Vardoulakis


We study how competition between banks and non-banks affects lending standards. Banks have private information about some borrowers and are subject to capital requirements to mitigate risk-taking incentives from deposit insurance. Non-banks are uninformed and market forces determine their capital structure. We show that lending standards monotonically increase in bank capital requirements. Intuitively, higher capital requirements raise banks’ skin in the game and screening out bad projects assures positive expected lending returns. Non-banks enter the market when capital requirements are sufficiently high, but do not cause a deterioration in lending standards. Optimal capital requirements trade-off inefficient lending to bad projects under loose standards with inefficient collateral liquidation under tight standards.

Keywords: Lending standards, credit cycles, asymmetric information, non-banks, regulation

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2020.086

PDF: Full Paper

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Last Update: October 09, 2020