Regulation and Information Costs of Sovereign Distress: Evidence from Corporate Lending Markets
Journal of Corporate Finance,
We examine the effect of sovereign credit impairments on the pricing of syndicated loans following rating downgrades in the borrowing firms' countries of domicile. We find that the sovereign ceiling policies used by credit rating agencies create a disproportionately adverse impact on the bounded firms' borrowing costs relative to other domestic firms following their sovereign's rating downgrade. Rating-based regulatory frictions partially explain our results. On the supply-side, loans carry a higher spread when granted from low-capital banks, non-bank lenders, and banks with high market power. We further document an operating demand-side channel, contingent on borrowers' size, financial constraints, and global diversification. Our results can be attributed to the relative bargaining power between lenders and borrowers: relationship borrowers and non-bank dependent borrowers with alternative financing sources are much less affected.
Compensation Regulation in Banking: Executive Director Behavior and Bank Performance after the EU Bonus Cap
Journal of Accounting and Economics,
The regulation that caps executives’ variable compensation, as part of the Capital Requirements Directive IV of 2013, likely affected executive turnover, compensation design, and risk-taking in EU banking. The current study identifies significantly higher average turnover rates but also finds that they are driven by CEOs at poorly performing banks. Banks indemnified their executives by off-setting the bonus cap with higher fixed compensation. Although our evidence is only suggestive, we do not find any reduction in risk-taking at the bank level, one purported aim of the regulation.
14.02.2023 • 4/2023
Study on Europe's top bankers: Risky business despite bonus cap
Ten years ago, the EU Parliament decided to cap the flexible remuneration of bank managers. But the cap on bonuses misses its target: Managers of systemically important European banks take high risks without changes, shows a study by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
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The Disciplining Effect of Supervisory Scrutiny in the EU-wide Stress Test
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
Relying on confidential supervisory data related to the 2016 EU-wide stress test, this paper presents novel empirical evidence that supervisory scrutiny associated to stress testing has a disciplining effect on bank risk. We find that banks that participated in the 2016 EU-wide stress test subsequently reduced their credit risk relative to banks that were not part of this exercise. Relying on new metrics for supervisory scrutiny that measure the quantity, potential impact, and duration of interactions between banks and supervisors during the stress test, we find that the disciplining effect is stronger for banks subject to more intrusive supervisory scrutiny during the exercise. We also find that a strong risk management culture is a prerequisite for the supervisory scrutiny to be effective. Finally, we show that a similar disciplining effect is not exerted neither by higher capital charges nor by more transparency and related market discipline induced by the stress test.
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