Is Credit Risk Really Higher in Islamic Banks?

36 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2010 Last revised: 19 Mar 2012

Date Written: October 9, 2010


This article explores empirically the assertion that Islamic Banks have higher credit risk than Conventional Banks. A definition, identification and the way to manage credit risk are given to each Islamic financial tool. This risk is, then, measured on nine Islamic and nine Conventional Banks, using Contingent Claims Analysis (CCA). Merton’s model (1974), based on Black & Scholes’ (1973) option pricing formula, allowed the measure of the Distance-to-Default (DD) and Default probability (DP) from 2005 to 2009. Islamic Banks have a mean DD of 204 significantly higher than conventional Banks (DD = 15). Mean DP equals 0.03 and 0.05 respectively. Afterward, cumulative logistic probability distribution has been used to derive DP from DD. Results are more satisfying; the distribution of DP has larger tails which respond to the critic against the use of a normal distribution.

Keywords: Islamic Banking, Default Probability, Contingent Claims Analysis, Credit Risk, Distance-to-Default, Merton Model, Logistic Distribution

JEL Classification: G13, G21, G32, C13, C25

Suggested Citation

Boumediene, Aniss, Is Credit Risk Really Higher in Islamic Banks? (October 9, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Aniss Boumediene (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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