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Are banks forward-looking in their loan loss provisioning? Evidence from the Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey (SLOOS)

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Author Info

  • Lakshmi Balasubramanyan
  • James B Thomson
  • Saeed Zaman

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to empirically analyze if loan loss provisioning is forward-looking. Using a confidential dataset that directly helps us identify loan demand and loan supply at the bank level, we test if the banks’ provisioning behavior is different before and after the crisis. We find, for the entire sample of banks, loan loss provisioning is forward-looking and statistically significant in the post-crisis period. Our results show that the top quartiles of banks in our dataset exhibit a forward-looking approach to loan loss provisioning both in the pre- and post-crisis period. From a policy perspective, the top quartile of banks in our sample is engaged in forward-looking loan loss provisioning. From an accounting stance, this may be suggestive of the largest banks being more engaged in earnings management and income smoothing than the smallest banks in our sample. However, from the banking regulation perspective, implementing forwardlooking loan loss provisioning is economically intuitive and will help build a countercyclical buffer, thereby strengthening bank balance sheets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 1313.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:1313

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Keywords: Bank loans;

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References

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  1. Lown, Cara & Morgan, Donald P., 2004. "The Credit Cycle and the Business Cycle: New Findings Using the Loan Officer Opinion Survey," SIFR Research Report Series 27, Institute for Financial Research.
  2. Ahmed, Anwer S. & Takeda, Carolyn & Thomas, Shawn, 1999. "Bank loan loss provisions: a reexamination of capital management, earnings management and signaling effects," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-25, November.
  3. José L. Fillat & Judit Montoriol-Garriga, 2010. "Addressing the pro-cyclicality of capital requirements with a dynamic loan loss provision system," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU10-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  4. Kishan, Ruby P & Opiela, Timothy P, 2000. "Bank Size, Bank Capital, and the Bank Lending Channel," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(1), pages 121-41, February.
  5. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 1999. "Is Bank Supervision Central To Central Banking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 629-653, May.
  6. Kishan, Ruby P. & Opiela, Timothy P., 2006. "Bank capital and loan asymmetry in the transmission of monetary policy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 259-285, January.
  7. Peek, Joe & Rosengren, Eric S & Tootell, Geoffrey M B, 2003. " Identifying the Macroeconomic Effect of Loan Supply Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 931-46, December.
  8. Eliana Balla & Andrew McKenna, 2009. "Dynamic provisioning: a countercyclical tool for loan loss reserves," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 383-418.
  9. Ben S. Bernanke & Cara S. Lown, 1991. "The Credit Crunch," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 205-248.
  10. Joe Peek & Eric Rosengren, 1993. "Bank regulation and the credit crunch," Working Papers 93-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  11. Laeven, Luc & Majnoni, Giovanni, 2003. "Loan loss provisioning and economic slowdowns: too much, too late?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 178-197, April.
  12. Jeremy C. Stein & Anil K. Kashyap, 2000. "What Do a Million Observations on Banks Say about the Transmission of Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 407-428, June.
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