August 2021 (Revised November 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


Shortly after the onset of the pandemic, U.S. banks cut their term lending to businesses–but little is known about how much, and why, banks' choice to ration credit contributed to this contraction. Afforded by a unique combination of several highly granular bank regulatory datasets, we identify the role of banks' exposure to Covid-related restrictions abroad – a balance sheet "shock" that affects only banks' credit supply, but not their US borrowers' demand for loans. We find that US banks with higher foreign Covid exposure cut their lending to US firms, and tightened terms on such loans, significantly more. Banks having become less risk tolerant, as well as foreign borrowers defaulting and drawing down on their cross-border credit lines, were potent mechanisms through which foreign Covid exposure reduced banks' domestic lending.
Accessible materials (.zip)

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


PDF: Full Paper

Original Paper: PDF | Accessible materials (.zip)

Disclaimer: The economic research that is linked from this page represents the views of the authors and does not indicate concurrence either by other members of the Board's staff or by the Board of Governors. The economic research and their conclusions are often preliminary and are circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment. The Board values having a staff that conducts research on a wide range of economic topics and that explores a diverse array of perspectives on those topics. The resulting conversations in academia, the economic policy community, and the broader public are important to sharpening our collective thinking.

Back to Top
Last Update: April 05, 2022