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Testing for Market Discipline in the European Banking Industry: Evidence from Subordinated Debt Issues

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  • Sironi, Andrea

Abstract

The question of whether private investors can discriminate between the risk taken by banks is empirically investigated by testing the risk sensitivity of European banks' subordinated notes and debentures (SND) spreads. A unique dataset of spreads, ratings, and accounting measures of bank risk is used for a sample of SND issued during the 1991-2000:Q1 period. Moody's Bank Financial Strength (MBFS) and FitchIBCA Individual (FII) ratings, which omit the influence of government and other external support on risk borne by investors, are used as bank risk proxies together with accounting variables to explain the variability of spreads. Empirical results support the hypothesis that SND investors are sensitive to bank risk, with the exception of SND issued by public sector banks, i.e., government owned or guaranteed institutions. Results also show that the sensitivity of SND spreads to measures of stand-alone risk (i.e., measures that do not incorporate external guarantees) has been increasing from the first to the second part of the 1990s, with the perception of too-big-to-fail type guarantees by private investors gradually disappearing. This result can be attributed to the joint effect of the loss of monetary policy by national central banks and the public budget constraints imposed by the European Monetary Union (EMU).

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 35 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 443-72

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:35:y:2003:i:3:p:443-72

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. anonymous, 1999. "Using subordinated debt as an instrument of market discipline," Staff Studies 172, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Andrea Sironi, 2001. "An Analysis of European Banks' SND Issues and its Implications for the Design of a Mandatory Subordinated Debt Policy," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 233-266, October.
  3. Gorton, Gary & Santomero, Anthony M, 1990. "Market Discipline and Bank Subordinated Debt," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 22(1), pages 119-28, February.
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  9. Avery, Robert B & Belton, Terrence M & Goldberg, Michael A, 1988. "Market Discipline in Regulating Bank Risk: New Evidence from the Capital Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(4), pages 597-610, November.
  10. William F. Treacy & Mark S. Carey, 1998. "Credit risk rating at large U.S. banks," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Nov, pages 897-921.
  11. M.J.B. Hall, 1996. "The amendment to the capital accord to incorporate market risk," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 49(197), pages 271-277.
  12. Flannery, Mark J, 1998. "Using Market Information in Prudential Bank Supervision: A Review of the U.S. Empirical Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(3), pages 273-305, August.
  13. Robert R. Bliss & Mark J. Flannery, 2000. "Market discipline in the governance of U.S. Bank Holding Companies: monitoring vs. influencing," Working Paper Series WP-00-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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