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Managerial Incentives for Income Smoothing through Bank Loan Loss Provisions


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  • Kanagaretnam, Kiridaran
  • Lobo, Gerald J
  • Mathieu, Robert
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    We examine alternative underlying motives of bank managers in using loan loss provisions (LLP) to smooth reported income. Based on the analytical results of Fudenberg and Tirole (1995), we predict that for banks with good (poor) current performance and expected poor (good) future performance, managers will save income for (borrow income from) the future by reducing (increasing) current income through LLP. We also analyze three additional variables that could explain cross-sectional differences in the level of income smoothing. Our empirical analysis provides support for our predictions. The difference in LLP between the two groups of banks is positive as hypothesized, indicating that bank managers do save earnings through LLP in good times and borrow earnings using LLP in bad times. Similar results are obtained for analysis using discretionary LLP. When bank managers are saving earnings for the future, we provide evidence that the need to obtain external financing is an important additional variable in explaining cross-sectional differences in the extent of income smoothing. Furthermore, whether or not a bank is well capitalized is also weakly significant in explaining cross-sectional differences in income smoothing. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 63-80

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:rqfnac:v:20:y:2003:i:1:p:63-80

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    Cited by:
    1. David Hillier & Allan Hodgson & Peta Stevenson-Clarke & Suntharee Lhaopadchan, 2008. "Accounting Window Dressing and Template Regulation: A Case Study of the Australian Credit Union Industry," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(3), pages 579-593, December.
    2. Bornemann, Sven & Pfingsten, Andreas & Kick, Thomas & Schertler, Andrea, 2014. "Earnings baths by bank CEOs during turnovers," Discussion Papers 05/2014, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    3. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00916674 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Fatima Alali & Bikki Jaggi, 2011. "Earnings versus capital ratios management: role of bank types and SFAS 114," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 105-132, January.
    5. Bouvatier, Vincent & Lepetit, Laetitia & Strobel, Frank, 2014. "Bank income smoothing, ownership concentration and the regulatory environment," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 253-270.
    6. Kanagaretnam, Kiridaran & Lim, Chee Yeow & Lobo, Gerald J., 2014. "Effects of international institutional factors on earnings quality of banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 87-106.
    7. Balboa, Marina & López-Espinosa, Germán & Rubia, Antonio, 2013. "Nonlinear dynamics in discretionary accruals: An analysis of bank loan-loss provisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5186-5207.
    8. L. Smith & Baiqiang Jin, 2007. "Modeling exposure to losses on automobile leases," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 241-266, October.
    9. Ahmed A. Al-khabash & Ali A. Al-Thuneibat, 2009. "Earnings management practices from the perspective of external and internal auditors: Evidence from Jordan," Managerial Auditing Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(1), pages 58-80, January.
    10. José Alves Dantas & Otávio Ribeiro de Medeiros & Paulo Roberto Barbosa Lustosa, 2013. "The Role of economic variables and credit portfolio attributes for estimating discretionary loan loss provisions in Brazilian banks," Brazilian Business Review, Fucape Business School, vol. 10(4), pages 65-90, October.
    11. DeBoskey, David Gregory & Jiang, Wei, 2012. "Earnings management and auditor specialization in the post-sox era: An examination of the banking industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 613-623.
    12. Bornemann, Sven & Kick, Thomas & Memmel, Christoph & Pfingsten, Andreas, 2010. "Are banks using hidden reserves to beat earnings benchmarks? Evidence from Germany," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2010,13, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    13. Jin, Justin Yiqiang & Kanagaretnam, Kiridaran & Lobo, Gerald J. & Mathieu, Robert, 2013. "Impact of FDICIA internal controls on bank risk taking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 614-624.


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