The Link between the Share Level 3 Assets of Banks and Their Default Risk and Default Costs
Posted: 4 Oct 2013 Last revised: 13 May 2019
Date Written: May 28, 2018
We empirically explore the link between Level 3 fair value estimates and banks’ default risk as well as default costs. Both variables are especially important to banks’ creditors and the regulatory authorities that rely on the information in financial statements. In a fixed-effects panel model, we find a link between Level 3 estimates and higher volatilities as well as lower market values. Both factors add up in much higher default risks in bank-quarters with more Level 3 estimates. The link remains strong even after controlling for the systematic information risk in Level 3 estimates. Furthermore, we find a strong link between Level 3 estimates and banks’ default costs in transactions with low information risk. Combining the different pieces of evidence, our results show the presence of two underlying estimation errors in Level 3 assets: information risk and overvaluation. Our results point towards the benefits of complementing the information in financial statements with capital market information for bank creditors and bank regulators.
Keywords: Banking, Bank Default, Fair Value Accounting, Level 3 Assets
JEL Classification: G21, G28, G32, M41
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