Bank Mergers and Small Firm Financing

In this study the effect of bank mergers on the most recent attempt to obtain financing from a sample U.S. small firms in the mid-1990s is examined. Banking mergers, which affected about 25% of the firms responding to the survey, had no significant effect on the ability of small firms to obtain a loan or the contract loan rate on the most recent loan from a commercial bank. However, the incidence of mergers does appear to increase nonprice loan terms, increase the incidence of related fees for services, raise the frequency of searching for a new bank, and result in deterioration of service quality. Little evidence is found that the most informationally opaque firms (e.g., the smallest firms) bear a higher cost from mergers than do less informationally opaque firms.