Using a sample of 27 countries between 1990 and 2014, we find that banks charge a higher interest rate on their loans when lending to firms that face more stringent environmental regulations. Further, we show that firms facing such regulations maintain lower financial leverage, incur more operating expenses, and have fewer banks participating in their loan syndicate. The results of the subsample analysis suggest that the increase in the cost of bank loans is more pronounced for financially constrained firms, firms in industries with high environmental litigation risk, and those located in bank-based economies. Overall, our results provide evidence that the observed higher loan spread is the result of environmentally sensitive lending practices by banks.
Fard, Amirhossein and Javadi, Siamak and Kim, Incheol, Environmental Regulation and the Cost of Bank Loans: International Evidence (March 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3348758 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3348758