The impact of ECB loan valuation metrics on third-party loan pricing: A EU firm perspective

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Federico Beltrame ORCID logo, Luca Grassetti ORCID logo, Maurizio Polato ORCID logo, Giulio Velliscig ORCID logo


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This paper delves into the implications for the bank behaviour about firm loan pricing conditions of the new direction undertaken by supervisory and regulatory authorities in the aftermath of the deterioration of the loan portfolio quality that hit EU banks. The 2014 AQR exercise embraces the new direction and extensively uses debt service coverage measures to assess a firm’s loan quality. We, therefore, check whether the DSCR has influenced debt pricing conditions by analysing a panel of 655 listed EU firms from 2009 to 2017. Our findings show that Z-score is unable to discriminate between high and low credit risk firms. The DSCR becomes significant only after 2014, highlighting the incremented importance of this ratio in the bank’s loan pricing determination. Our work contributes to the literature investigating third-party interdependencies with the interplay between lender-borrower relationship and loan pricing and further extends the literature on creditworthiness metrics beyond their mere default-prediction ability (Beaver, 1966; Houghton & Woodliff, 1987). Our results highlight the relevance of the DSCR in the bank’s loan pricing determination and inform firm managers about the drivers that influence the cost of debt thereby enhancing their operational and financial planning.

Keywords: Bank, AQR, DSCR, Debt Pricing

Authors’ individual contribution: Conceptualization – F.B. and M.P.; Methodology – F.B. and L.G.; Software – L.G.; Validation – L.G., M.P., and F.B.; Formal Analysis – L.G.; Investigation – L.G.; Resources – L.G.; Data Curation – F.B. and M.P.; Writing – Original Draft – F.B., M.P., and G.V.; Writing – Review & Editing – G.V.; Visualization – G.V.; Supervision – M.P.; Project Administration – F.B.; Funding Acquisition – F.B.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

JEL Classification: G20, G32, E51

Received: 04.05.2020
Accepted: 26.06.2020
Published online: 01.07.2020

How to cite this paper: Beltrame, F., Grassetti, L., Polato, M., & Velliscig, G. (2020). The impact of ECB loan valuation metrics on third-party loan pricing: A EU firm perspective. Risk Governance and Control: Financial Markets & Institutions, 10(2), 45-52.