What does the yield on subordinated bank debt measure?
AbstractWe provide evidence that a bank's subordinated debt yield spread is not, by itself, a sufficient measure of default risk. We use a model in which subordinated debt is held by investors with superior knowledge ("informed investor hypothesis"). First, we show that in theory the yield spread on subordinated debt must compensate investors for expected loss plus give them an incentive not to prefer senior debt. Second we present strong empirical evidence in favor of the informed investor hypothesis and of the existence of the incentive premium predicted by the model. Using data on the timing and pricing of public debt issues made by large U.S. banking organizations during the 1985-2002 period, we find that banks issue relatively more subordinated debt in good times, i.e. when informed investors have good news. Spreads at issuance (corrected for sample selection bias) react to (superior) private and to public information, in line with the comparative statics of the postulated incentive premium. Interestingly, as the model predicts, the influence of sophisticated investors' information on the subordinated yield spread became weaker after the introduction of prompt corrective action and depositor preference reforms, while the influence of public risk perception grew stronger. Finally, our model explains anomalies from the empirical literature on subordinated debt spreads and from market interviews (e.g. limited sensitivity to bank-specific risk and the "ballooning" of spreads in bad times). We conclude that a bank's subordinated yield spread conveys important information if interpreted together with its senior spread and with other banks' subordinated yield spreads.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2004-19.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Hancock Diana & Urs W. Birchler, 2004. "What Does the Yield on Subordinated Bank Debt Measure?," Working Papers 2004-02, Swiss National Bank.
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
- G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
- K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-05-26 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Diamond, Douglas W., 1993. "Seniority and maturity of debt contracts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 341-368, June.
- Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 1994. "The prudential regulation of banks," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9539, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Calomiris, Charles W., 1999. "Building an incentive-compatible safety net," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 1499-1519, October.
- Winton, Andrew, 1995. "Costly State Verification and Multiple Investors: The Role of Seniority," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(1), pages 91-123.
- anonymous, 1999. "Using subordinated debt as an instrument of market discipline," Staff Studies 172, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Andrea Sironi, 2000.
"An analysis of European banks SND issues and its implications for the design of a mandatory subordinated debt policy,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
2000-41, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- 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.
- Diana Hancock & Myron L. Kwast, 2001. "Using subordinated debt to monitor bank holding companies: is it feasible?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-22, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Douglas D. Evanoff & Larry D. Wall, 2001.
"Sub-debt yield spreads as bank risk measures,"
2001-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Diana Hancock & Myron Kwast, 2001. "Using Subordinated Debt to Monitor Bank Holding Companies: Is it Feasible?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 147-187, October.
- Samuel Reynard, 2004.
"Financial Market Participation and the Apparent Instability of Money Demand,"
2004-01, Swiss National Bank.
- Reynard, Samuel, 2004. "Financial market participation and the apparent instability of money demand," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1297-1317, September.
- Karl B. Diether & Christopher J. Malloy & Anna Scherbina, 2002. "Differences of Opinion and the Cross Section of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2113-2141, October.
- Mark Fisher & Douglas Nychka & David Zervos, 1995. "Fitting the term structure of interest rates with smoothing splines," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Pierre Collin-Dufresne, 2001. "The Determinants of Credit Spread Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2177-2207, December.
- Birchler, Urs W, 2000.
"Bankruptcy Priority for Bank Deposits: A Contract Theoretic Explanation,"
Review of Financial Studies,
Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 813-40.
- Urs W. Birchler, 1999. "Bankruptcy Priority for Bank Deposits: a Contract Theoretic Explanation," Working Papers 00.01, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
- Barclay, Michael J & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1995. " The Priority Structure of Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 899-917, July.
- Douglas D. Evanoff & Larry D. Wall, 2000. "Subordinated debt as bank capital: a proposal for regulatory reform," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 40-53.
- Urs W. Birchler & Matteo Facchinetti, 2006.
"Can bank supervisors rely on market data? A critical assessment from a Swiss perspective,"
2006-08, Swiss National Bank.
- Urs W. Birchler & Matteo Facchinetti, 2007. "Can Bank Supervisors Rely on Market Data? A Critical Assessment from a Swiss Perspective," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(II), pages 95-132, June.
- Jens Forssbæck, 2011. "Divergence of risk indicators and the conditions for market discipline in banking," SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum, number 2011/4.
- Clemens Kool, 2006.
"Financial Stability in European Banking: The Role of Common Factors,"
Open Economies Review,
Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 525-540, December.
- C.J.M. Kool, 2006. "Financial stability in European banking : the role of common factors," Working Papers 06-13, Utrecht School of Economics.
- Clemens J.M. Kool, 2007. "Financial Stability in European Banking: The Role of Common Factors," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 101, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
- Daniel M. Covitz & Diana Hancock & Myron L. Kwast, 2004. "Market discipline in banking reconsidered: the roles of funding manager decisions and deposit insurance reform," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-53, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Baba, Naohiko & Inada, Masakazu, 2009. "Why do Japanese regional banks issue subordinated debts?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 358-364, December.
- Hasan Bakhshi & Hashmat Khan & Barbara Rudolf, 2005.
"The Phillips curve under state-dependent pricing,"
2005-01, Swiss National Bank.
- Bakhshi, Hasan & Khan, Hashmat & Rudolf, Barbara, 2006. "The Phillips Curve Under State-Dependent Pricing," CEPR Discussion Papers 5945, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Hasan Bakhshi & Hashmat Khan & Barbara Rudolf, 2004. "The Phillips curve under state-dependent pricing," Bank of England working papers 227, Bank of England.
- Naohiko Baba & Masakazu Inada & Yasuo Maeda, 2007. "Determinants of Subordinated Debt Issuance by Japanese Regional Banks," IMES Discussion Paper Series 07-E-03, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
- Daniel M. Covitz & Diana Hancock & Myron L. Kwast, 2004. "A reconsideration of the risk sensitivity of U.S. banking organization subordinated debt spreads: a sample selection approach," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 73-92.
- Jens Forssbaeck, 2011. "Divergence of risk indicators and the conditions for market discipline in banking," Chapters in SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kris Vajs).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.