The German financial market is often characterized as a bank-based system with strong bank-customer relationships. The corresponding notion of a housebank is closely related to the theoretical idea of relationship lending. It is the objective of this paper to provide a direct comparison between housebanks and normal banks as to their credit policy. Therefore, we analyze a new data set, representing a random sample of borrowers drawn from the credit portfolios of five leading German banks over a period of five years. We use credit-file data rather than industry survey data and, thus, focus the analysis on information that is directly related to actual credit decisions. In particular, we use bank-internal borrower rating data to evaluate borrower quality, and the bank's own assessment of its housebank status to control for information-intensive relationships.