Issues with Debt Funding: Some Empirical Evidence Post-GFC

  • Segu Zuhair Victoria University, Melbourne
  • Riccardo Natoli Victoria University, Melbourne
Keywords: Debt Crisis, Debt Funding, Global Financial Crisis


The recent debt-crisis, referred to as the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), resulted in significant worldwide impacts. The main reason for the crisis was, ironically, the ease with which debt was made available, especially to those with a poor credit history. The crisis then resulted in a shortage of funds or an unwillingness to make credit available. This type of behaviour reflects a general withdrawal by international banks and other lending bodies from any type of activity, regardless of the type of lending and of risk where a withdrawal by one player tends to trigger similar actions by others. The purpose of the present paper is to examine debt funding in Australia post-GFC by first conducting a review of the extant literature followed by the results of an empirical study. The study was conducted among a sample of 59 Australian firms across more than 12 industries covering credit up to 10 years long. The result showed that nearly a third of the firms were in need of additional fund of which nearly half were in the region of $50m to $500m (AU$), with a maturity of up to three years. The most popular sources of funds are the domestic banks (70 %) and international banks (45 %). These outcomes are affected by the credit rating and the size of the firms, measured by gross annual turnover. The firms with a lower credit rating tend to exclude themselves from seeking high quality credit. The level of credit sought by the firms does not seem to be a factor determining the availability of credit.