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Evaluating Loan-to-Value Ratios of Post-War/Contemporary Art as Collateral

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Bennett Blake

Gallerists to art market theorists maintain that art is a stable asset, but private banks, who create loans with art as collateral, reject this belief considering other asset-backed loans receive higher loan-to-value (LTV) ratios. The current industry standard that private banks use for an art-secured loan is 50% of the value of a piece/collection. For other tangible assets, such as real estate, LTV ratios can soar over 80%. With the number of high-net-worth art collectors increasing, and their desire for private banking to be a one-stop shop for their finances, private banking's historical position on art-secured lending is being challenged by current necessity. While art lending is not thought of as a revenue generating practice for private banks, it is important for the purpose of retaining clients and engaging in more lucrative deals. I examine how banks have arrived at the LTV ratio of 50% and whether banks could safely increase that ratio.
Using a multidisciplinary literature review, I analyze the trade cycle of art-secured lending, focusing on the terms of loans, insurance requirements, and the securitization of art. While many researchers talk about the advantages and obstacles to art-secured lending, their work has not examined the 50% LTV ratio, nor the possibility of increases. A statistical analysis of art's volatility over the period of 2000-2022 examines the extent of stability of art as an asset. I examine practical limitations around keeping art on a balance sheet, including concerns about the liquidity of art as well as legal/financial issues such as ownership, authenticity, and attribution. I anticipate that data from art indexes will suggest that art exhibits a lower volatility than U.S. equity indexes, but due to the complexities around securitizing and selling art it is likely that lenders will continue to be hesitant about lending at higher LTV ratios.
University / Institution: University of Utah
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Business
Faculty Mentor: Jeffery Coles
Location: Alumni House, BOYER ROOM (9:00am)