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Bank Regulatory Capital Adjustment and Ultimate Ownership Structure: Evidence from European Commercial Banks

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  • Laetitia Lepetit

    ()
    (LAPE - Laboratoire d'Analyse et de Prospective Economique - Université de Limoges : EA1088 - Institut Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société)

  • Amine Tarazi

    ()
    (LAPE - Laboratoire d'Analyse et de Prospective Economique - Université de Limoges : EA1088 - Institut Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société)

  • Nadia Zedek

    ()
    (LAPE - Laboratoire d'Analyse et de Prospective Economique - Université de Limoges : EA1088 - Institut Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société)

Abstract

We empirically investigate whether a bank's decision to recapitalize is influenced by its ownership characteristics, particularly the separation between voting and cash-flow rights of the bank's ultimate owner. We use a novel hand-collected dataset on bank ultimate control and ownership structure of 442 European commercial banks to estimate an ownership- augmented capital adjustment model. We find that when the ultimate owner's voting and cash-flow rights are identical, banks actively (as opposed to passively shifting earnings to capital stock) and equally adjust their capital upwards (i.e. raise equity) and downwards (i.e. repurchase equity) to reach their target level. However, a gap between voting and cash-flow rights of the ultimate owner makes banks reluctant to actively adjust their capital position upwards, presumably because they fear control dilution. Further investigation shows that such a behavior is more pronounced if the ultimate owner is a family or a state, or if the bank is headquartered in a country with weak shareholder protection. Our findings have several policy implications on the road to the final stage of Basel III in 2019.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00918577.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00918577

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