The Roles of Corporate Governance in Bank Failures during the Recent Financial Crisis
Allen N. Berger
University of South Carolina - Moore School of Business; Wharton Financial Institutions Center; Tilburg University - CentER
Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance
Goethe University Frankfurt
May 15, 2013
This paper analyzes the roles of corporate governance in bank defaults during the recent financial crisis. We investigate the impacts of bank ownership and management structures on the probability of default of US commercial banks. Our results suggest that defaults are strongly influenced by a bank’s ownership structure: high shareholdings of lower-level management, such as vice presidents, increase default risk significantly. In contrast, shareholdings of outside directors and chief officers (managers with a “chief officer” position, such as the CEO, CFO, etc.) do not have a direct impact on the probability of failure. These findings suggest that high stakes in the bank induce lower-level management, which has direct influences on the bank’s daily operations, to take high risks, which may eventually result in bank default. Our results further show that the probability of default specifically increases when incentives of chief officers and lower-level management are aligned. Some accounting variables, such as capital, earnings, and non-performing loans, also help predict bank default. However, other potential stability indicators, such as the management structure of the bank, appear to be less decisive factors in determining default.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: Bank Default, Corporate Governance, Bank Regulation
JEL Classification: G21, G28, G32, G34working papers series
Date posted: March 15, 2012 ; Last revised: May 15, 2013
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