Bank–Firm Relationships: Do Perceptions Vary by Gender?


Patrick Saparito, tel.: 610-660-1157; e-mail:, to Amanda Elam at, and to Candida Brush at


This study examines how small-business owners'/managers' perceptions about their banking relationships are influenced by the gender of both the small-business owner/manager and the bank manager. This study draws from social network theory and status expectations state theory to test how gender influences key perceptions about the bank–firm relationship. Using 696 matched firm owner/manager–bank manager pairs, our results show that male–male pairs of business owner/managers and bankers had the highest levels of trust, satisfaction with credit access, and bank knowledge, while female–female pairs had the lowest levels for each measure; with mixed pairs in the middle on all accounts.