The Relation between Religiosity and Private Bank Outcomes
57 Pages Posted: 9 May 2018
Date Written: April 1, 2018
We examine the effect of headquarters’ local religiosity on private bank outcomes. Religiosity is associated with lower risk-taking for public banks, but the unique features of private banks may result in a different effect for private banks. We find religiosity is associated with greater asset risk-taking. At the same time, however, religiosity, is negatively associated with solvency risk and return on asset (ROA) volatility and is associated with higher ROAs and fewer failures. We reconcile these results by finding banks in areas with higher religiosity recognize larger fees from providing additional banking services, likely due to relationships formed from more risky lending. As a result, these banks are more (less) likely to realize extreme positive (negative) performance. We also find religiosity is associated with lower earnings management and increased conservatism. Collectively, our results confirm private banks are unique and religiosity can have a significant, and nuanced, effect on bank outcomes.
Keywords: Religiosity, Private Banks, Risk, Performance, Financial Reporting
JEL Classification: G21, M41, M14, D71, D21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation