Stress Test Failures and Mergers and Acquisitions

65 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2020 Last revised: 30 Sep 2021

See all articles by Buhui Qiu

Buhui Qiu

University of Sydney Business School; Financial Research Network (FIRN)

Teng Wang

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Date Written: September 29, 2021


Corporate borrowers of banks that failed stress tests subsequently conduct fewer mergers and acquisitions (M&A). The effect is stronger for treated firms with weaker corporate governance or more susceptibility to agency problems. We further document increased credit quality and financial covenant usage for M&A-related loans as well as improved borrower M&A deal quality after bank stress test failures, suggesting that such failures trigger enhanced bank screening on borrowers’ M&A projects. Moreover, by refraining from M&A that can hurt shareholders, treated firms improve their profitability. Our evidence highlights a novel, positive spillover effect of bank stress test failures on corporate M&A.

Keywords: Stress Tests, Mergers and Acquisitions, Bank Screening

JEL Classification: G21, G34

Suggested Citation

Qiu, Buhui and Wang, Teng, Stress Test Failures and Mergers and Acquisitions (September 29, 2021). Proceedings of Paris December 2020 Finance Meeting EUROFIDAI - ESSEC, Available at SSRN: or

Buhui Qiu (Contact Author)

University of Sydney Business School ( email )

Room 513, The Codrington Building
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
+61 2 9036 6435 (Phone)
+61 2 9351 6461 (Fax)


Financial Research Network (FIRN)

C/- University of Queensland Business School
St Lucia, 4071 Brisbane

Teng Wang

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

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