FinBERT - A Large Language Model for Extracting Information from Financial Text
74 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2021 Last revised: 26 Sep 2022
Date Written: July 28, 2020
We develop FinBERT, a state-of-the-art large language model that adapts to the finance domain. We show that FinBERT incorporates finance knowledge and can better summarize contextual information in financial texts. Using a sample of researcher-labeled sentences from analyst reports, we document that FinBERT substantially outperforms the Loughran and McDonald dictionary and other machine learning algorithms, including naïve Bayes, support vector machine, random forest, convolutional neural network, and long short-term memory, in sentiment classification. Our results show that FinBERT excels in identifying the positive or negative sentiment of sentences that other algorithms mislabel as neutral, likely because it uses contextual information in financial text. We find that FinBERT’s advantage over other algorithms, and Google’s original bidirectional encoder representations from transformers (BERT) model, is especially salient when the training sample size is small and in texts containing financial words not frequently used in general texts. FinBERT also outperforms other models in identifying discussions related to environment, social, and governance issues. Last, we show that other approaches underestimate the textual informativeness of earnings conference calls by at least 18%, compared with FinBERT. Our results have implications for academic researchers, investment professionals, and financial market regulators.
Keywords: Deep Learning; Large Language Model; Transfer Learning; Interpretable Machine Learning; Sentiment Classification; Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG)
JEL Classification: C45, D83, G14, G24, G32, M40, M41
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