(Bloomberg) -- Banks with more gender-diverse boards lend less to more environmentally harmful companies, according to research by the European Central Bank.

The study of loan-level data from the euro area found that banks with a relatively high share of female directors -- above 37% -- directed about 10% lower lending volumes to firms with relatively high pollution intensity.

The working paper, published Monday, also established that female director-specific characteristics matter, with better-educated directors granting lower credit volumes to more polluting firms, and that the trend was stronger in countries with more female climate-oriented politicians.

The results confirm “the beneficial effects of more gender-diverse decision-making groups on firms’ outcomes and, in a wider perspective, on the global economy,” researchers led by Leonardo Gambacorta wrote.

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