Risk-Shifting and the Regulation of Bank CEOs' Compensation

30 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2010 Last revised: 3 Aug 2016

Date Written: September 3, 2012


This paper analyzes the effects of two regulatory mechanisms, namely a regulation of the structure of bank CEOs incentive pay and sanctions for the CEOs of failed banks, on bank risk shifting. We extend a standard model of CEO compensation by incorporating leverage and an investment decision. To the extent that bank depositors and creditors are even partially protected by public guarantees, we show that it is in the interests of bank shareholders to choose more risky investments than would be socially optimal, and therefore to design a CEO contract with excessive risk taking incentives. Thus, we argue that current corporate governance arrangements in the banking sector are not efficient. In this setting, we show that putting in place one of the aforementioned mechanisms could yield the socially optimal outcome at no cost. We also identify some limitations and potential perverse effects of these mechanisms.

Keywords: Banking regulation, CEO incentives, Corporate governance, Moral hazard

JEL Classification: G21, G28, J33

Suggested Citation

Chaigneau, Pierre, Risk-Shifting and the Regulation of Bank CEOs' Compensation (September 3, 2012). Journal of Financial Stability, Vol. 9, No. 4, 2013; 23rd Australasian Finance and Banking Conference 2010 Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1663923 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1663923

Pierre Chaigneau (Contact Author)

Queen's University ( email )

Smith School of Business - Queen's University
143 Union Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6

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