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Impact of the dividend distribution restriction on the flow of credit to non-financial corporations in Spain

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This article analyses the impact of Recommendation ECB/2020/19 (to credit institutions to refrain from making dividend distributions and performing share buy-backs aimed at remunerating shareholders) on lending by Spanish banks between January and September 2020. Specifically, we use a sample of Spanish banks and exploit the fact that only some of them (those that had already approved dividend pay-outs before the recommendation) were able to pay dividends during the first few months of the pandemic. This quasi-natural experiment allowed us to analyse the impact of dividend restrictions on lending. Banks that limited their dividend distributions during the period analysed extended significantly more credit (12% to 23% more than banks that did not limit them) to non-financial corporations after the entry into force of the recommendation. At the same time, firms that received loans with public guarantees, such as, for example, loans that benefit from the ICO’s guarantee facilities established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, received more credit from banks that did not make dividend distributions than from those that did, which suggests that these two measures may complement one another.
Artículo de revista
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Economic bulletin / Banco de España. Analytical articles
Economic bulletin / Banco de España [Artículos], n. 1, 2021
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