Using Annual Report Sentiment as a Proxy for Financial Distress in U.S. Banks
35 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2017 Last revised: 3 Oct 2018
Date Written: September 25, 2018
Current measures of bank distress find marginal value in predictive variables beyond a capital adequacy ratio and tend to miss extreme events impacting the entire sector. Our paper advocates a new proxy for bank distress: sentiment measures from banks’ annual reports. After controlling for popular forecasting variables used in the literature, we find that more negative sentiment in the annual report is associated with larger delisting probabilities, lower odds of paying subsequent dividends, higher subsequent loan loss provisions, and lower future ROA. Our findings suggest that regulators could augment current early warning systems for banks and the banking sector—where the measures are based exclusively on financial statement data—by using the frequency of negative words in banks’ annual reports.
Keywords: Financial distress; textual analysis; negative sentiment; distressed delisting; financial institutions.
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