Soft information and the geography of SME bank lending

Tianshu Zhao, Kul B. Luintel, Kent Matthews

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the geography of bank lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and tests the argument that large institutions with complex organizational structures are better able to filter ‘hard’ information than ‘soft’ information. Mortgage lending is used as a control to illustrate the case of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ information. Using data on individual bank lending to SMEs and mortgages by postcode area in Great Britain for the period 2013(2)–2014(4), the paper explains the spatial dispersion of SME lending in the UK in terms of geographical distance and supports the policy of establishing a geographically decentralized financial system as a counterbalance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-692
Number of pages14
JournalRegional Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2021


  • bank finance
  • functional distance
  • geography of small and medium-sized enterprise lending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Social Sciences (all)


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