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Are Unsolicited Credit Ratings Lower? International Evidence From Bank Ratings

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  • Winnie P. H. Poon
  • Michael Firth
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    Abstract

    In recent years credit rating agencies have started rating firms who have not asked for a rating. Recipients of unsolicited ratings argue that the assigned ratings are too low and reflect a lack of comprehensive knowledge of the rated firms. We set out to examine these claims using a comprehensive and international sample of 1,060 bank ratings. Our results show that there is a significant difference in the distributions of ratings, and the shadow group has lower ratings. The results also indicate that banks that received shadow ratings are smaller and have weaker financial profiles than banks that have other ratings. This explains, in part, the lower ratings. In addition, we develop a model to explain bank ratings. The two-step treatment effects model shows that bank size, profitability, asset quality, liquidity, and sovereign credit risk are important factors in determining bank ratings. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2005.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Business Finance & Accounting.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2005-11)
    Issue (Month): 9-10 ()
    Pages: 1741-1771

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jbfnac:v:32:y:2005-11:i:9-10:p:1741-1771

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    Cited by:
    1. Dion Bongaerts & K.J. Martijn Cremers & William N. Goetzmann, 2009. "Tiebreaker: Certification and Multiple Credit Ratings," NBER Working Papers 15331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Isabelle Distinguin & Iftekhar Hasan & Amine Tarazi, 2013. "Predicting rating changes for banks: how accurate are accounting and stock market indicators?," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 471-500, August.
    3. Shen, Chung-Hua & Huang , Yu-Li & Hasan , Iftekhar, 2012. "Asymmetric benchmarking in bank credit rating," Research Discussion Papers 13/2012, Bank of Finland.
    4. Behr, Patrick & Güttler, André, 2008. "The informational content of unsolicited ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 587-599, April.
    5. Bannier, Christina E. & Behr, Patrick & Güttler, André, 2009. "Rating opaque borrowers: why are unsolicited ratings lower?," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 133, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
    6. Seung Han & William Moore & Yoon Shin & Seongbaek Yi, 2013. "Unsolicited Versus Solicited: Credit Ratings and Bond Yields," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 293-319, June.
    7. Cimadomo, Jacopo & Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Zimmermann, Tom, 2014. "Fiscal consolidations and bank balance sheets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 74-90.
    8. Patrick Roy, 2013. "Is There a Difference Between Solicited and Unsolicited Bank Ratings and, If So, Why?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 53-86, August.
    9. Matthias Efing, 2013. "Bank Capital Regulation with an Opportunistic Rating Agency," CESifo Working Paper Series 4267, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Winnie P. H. Poon & Kam C. Chan, 2010. "Solicited and Unsolicited Credit Ratings: A Global Perspective," Working Papers id:3112, eSocialSciences.
    11. Alexander B. Matthies, 2013. "Empirical Research on Corporate Credit-Ratings: A Literature Review," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2013-003, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    12. Byoun, Soku & Fulkerson, Jon A. & Han, Seung Hun & Shin, Yoon S., 2014. "Are unsolicited ratings biased? Evidence from long-run stock performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 326-338.
    13. Duan, Jin-Chuan & Van Laere, Elisabeth, 2012. "A public good approach to credit ratings – From concept to reality," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 3239-3247.
    14. Winnie P. H. Poon & Kam C. Chan, 2010. "Solicited and Unsolicited Credit Ratings : A Global Perspective," Finance Working Papers 22815, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    15. Ioannidis, Christos & Pasiouras, Fotios & Zopounidis, Constantin, 2010. "Assessing bank soundness with classification techniques," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 345-357, October.

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