Review of Corporate Finance > Vol 2 > Issue 1

Cash Holdings and Access to External Finance: Evidence from the Bank Loan Market

Adelina Barbalau, Department of Finance, University of Alberta, Canada, barbalau@ualberta.ca , Mark R. Huson, Department of Finance, University of Alberta, Canada, mark.huson@ualberta.ca , Lukas Roth, Department of Finance, University of Alberta, Canada, lukas.roth@ualberta.ca
 
Suggested Citation
Adelina Barbalau, Mark R. Huson and Lukas Roth (2022), "Cash Holdings and Access to External Finance: Evidence from the Bank Loan Market", Review of Corporate Finance: Vol. 2: No. 1, pp 65-97. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/114.00000013

Publication Date: 02 Mar 2022
© 2022 A. Barbalau, M. R. Huson and L. Roth
 
Subjects
Corporate Finance: Corporate financing,  Financial Markets: Financial intermediation
 
Keywords
JEL Codes: G21, G32
Cash holdingsbank loansyield spreadcovenantsfinancial constraints
 

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In this article:
Introduction 
Cash Holdings and the Cost and Terms of Bank Loans 
Data 
Cash Holdings and Bank Loan Spreads 
Cash Holdings and Non-Price Loan Terms 
Conclusion 
Appendix 
References 

Abstract

Using a large sample of bank loans obtained by U.S. firms, we examine the relation between cash holdings and access to external finance via bank loans. We document a negative relation between cash holdings and loan spreads. This negative relation is confirmed in a subsample of quasi-exogenous loan issuances associated with covenant violations and is stronger for higher risk and financially constrained firms. We also find that restrictions to aggregate credit supply have a smaller impact on the cost of funds at high-cash firms, and loans to high-cash firms have fewer restrictive covenants. All else equal, high-cash firms are less financially constrained not only because they have cash to draw down, but also because cash facilitates accessing external capital from banks.

DOI:10.1561/114.00000013