Does banking competition alleviate or worsen credit constraints faced by small- and medium-sized enterprises? Evidence from China

Terence Tai Leung Chong, Liping Lu*, Steven Ongena

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


•We examine the effect of banking competition on SMEs' credit constraints in China.•Lower banking market concentration alleviates financing constraints of SMEs.•The joint-stock banks have a larger effect than the city commercial banks.•The joint-stock banks have a larger effect than the state-owned banks.•The effect is through prices rather than the offering of relationship lending. Banking competition may enhance or hinder the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises. Using a survey on the financing of such enterprises in China, combined with detailed bank branch information, we investigate how concentration in local banking market affects the availability of credit. We find that lower market concentration alleviates financing constraints. The widespread presence of joint-stock banks has a larger effect on alleviating these constraints, than the presence of city commercial banks, while the presence of state-owned banks has a smaller effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3412-3424
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Banking and Finance
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013


  • Banking competition
  • Credit constraints
  • SME financing

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