During the last decade, there was a growing body of case law of lender liability in the United States and France. This doctrine, whose prime goal is to protect investors against opportunism by banks, limits the involvement of banks in the management of commercial firms. This article explores the consequences of this doctrine of lender liability. We ask three questions: what is the "dark side" of relationship banking? Why do we see such variation across countries concerning lender liability? Is the lender liability doctrine efficient?banks;lender liability;financial distress.