Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Wall Street Seizes on Corporate Loan Binge to Dictate New Terms

  • Investment-grade companies continue to seek fresh credit lines
  • Banks use newfound leverage to push more favorable provisions
New York Prepares As Covid-19 Cases Surge
Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

The largest U.S. banks, flooded with requests for loans from blue-chip companies in recent weeks, are starting to use their newfound leverage over corporate America to insert safer, more favorable terms into billions of dollars of deals.

Anti cash-hoarding stipulations, interest-rate floors and mandatory prepayment clauses -- provisions more commonly found in junk-rated transactions or bridge loans -- are creeping into investment-grade financings as demand outstrips how much Wall Street is willing to lend. Banks are even starting to increase the rates some companies such as General Motors Co. have to pay, a rarity in a market where borrowing costs have largely been on a one-way track lower since the last financial crisis.