Research / BFI Working PaperAug 11, 2021

The Relationship Dilemma: Why Do Banks Differ in the Pace at Which They Adopt New Technology?

Prachi Mishra, Nagpurnanand Prabhala, Raghuram Rajan

India introduced credit scoring technology in 2007. We study its adoption by the two main types of banks operating there, new private banks (NPBs) and state-owned public sector banks (PSBs). NPBs start checking the credit scores of most borrowers before lending soon after the technology is introduced. PSBs do so equally quickly for new borrowers but very slowly for prior clients, although lending without checking scores is reliably associated with more delinquencies. We show that an important factor explaining the difference in adoption is the stickiness of past bank structures and associated managerial practices. Past practices hold back better practices today.

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