August 2021

Domestic Lending and the Pandemic: How Does Banks' Exposure to Covid-19 Abroad Affect Their Lending in the United States?

Judit Temesvary and Andrew Wei

Abstract:

We study how U.S. banks' exposure to the economic fallout due to governments' response to Covid-19 in foreign countries has affected their credit provision to borrowers in the United States. We combine a rarely accessed dataset on U.S. banks' cross-border exposure to borrowers in foreign countries with the most detailed regulatory ("credit registry") data that is available on their U.S.-based lending. We compare the change in the U.S. lending of banks that are more vs. less exposed to the pandemic abroad, during and after the onset of Covid-19 in 2020. We document strong spillover effects: U.S. banks with higher foreign exposures in badly "Covid-19-hit" regions cut their lending in the United States substantially more. This effect is particularly strong for longer-maturity loans and term loans and is robust to controlling for firms’ pandemic exposure.

Keywords: Cross-border exposure, bank lending, bank capital, bank balance sheet liquidity

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2021.056

PDF: Full Paper

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Last Update: August 24, 2021