The Strategic Under-Reporting of Bank Risk
Taylor A. Begley, Amiyatosh Purnanandam, Kuncheng Zheng; The Strategic Underreporting of Bank Risk, The Review of Financial Studies, Volume 30, Issue 10, 1 pp. 337613415, October 2017, DOI: org/10.1093/rfs/hhx036
76 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2014 Last revised: 13 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 23, 2016
We show that banks significantly under-report the risk in their trading book when they have lower equity capital. Specifically, a decrease in a bank's equity capital results in substantially more violations of its self-reported risk levels in the following quarter. The under-reporting is especially high during the critical periods of high systemic risk and for banks with larger trading operations. We exploit a discontinuity in the expected benefit of under-reporting present in Basel regulations to provide further support for a causal link between capital-saving incentives and under-reporting. Overall, we show that banks' self-reported risk measures become least informative precisely when they matter the most.
Keywords: value-at-risk, risk-based capital requirements, risk measurement, systemic risk
JEL Classification: G20, G30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation