The Impact of Non-performing Loans on Bank Lending Behavior: Evidence from the Italian Banking Sector
The aim of this study is to understand the bank lending behavior during financial crisis, in particular whether an increase of credit risk during this period can lead banks to reduce their lending activity. A second object is to investigate whether cooperative and commercial banks show different behaviors. The analysis is based on a sample of Italian banks (listed and no listed), an example of a country undergoing a credit crunch. The sample consists of 488 listed and unlisted Italian banks observed 2007-2013. Unlisted banks are included because they are the most numerous in the Italian banking system. Findings show a negative impact of credit risk on bank lending behavior, with regard to both credit risk measures: the nonperforming loans and the loan loss provision ratio.