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Loan loss provisioning and income smoothing in US banks pre and post the financial crisis

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  • El Sood, Heba Abou

Abstract

Prior research shows that banks have strong incentives to use loan loss provisions to smooth income. Using a sample of 878 US bank holding companies over the period 2001–2009, I find strong evidence of income smoothing behavior. Additionally, bank holding companies accelerate loan loss provisions to smooth income when (1) banks hit the regulatory minimum target, (2) are in non-recessionary periods, and (3) are more profitable. I also find that bank internally set regulatory capital ratios are relatively more significant than regulatory‐set ratios to trigger income smoothing behaviour using loan loss provisions. Comparing the pre-crisis boom of 2002–2006 with the crisis period of 2007–2009, I find that banks use loan loss provisions more extensively during the crisis period to smooth income upward. Collectively, the results of this paper are relevant to current concerns of accounting standard setters and bank regulators on the current model of loan loss provisioning.

Suggested Citation

  • El Sood, Heba Abou, 2012. "Loan loss provisioning and income smoothing in US banks pre and post the financial crisis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 64-72.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:25:y:2012:i:c:p:64-72 DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2012.06.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Gropp, Reint & Köhler, Matthias, 2010. "Bank owners or bank managers: who is keen on risk? Evidence from the financial crisis," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-013, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    7. Kanagaretnam, Kiridaran & Lobo, Gerald J & Mathieu, Robert, 2003. "Managerial Incentives for Income Smoothing through Bank Loan Loss Provisions," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 63-80, January.
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    9. Bikker, J.A. & Metzemakers, P.A.J., 2005. "Bank provisioning behaviour and procyclicality," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 141-157, April.
    10. Allen Berger & Robert DeYoung & Mark Flannery & David Lee & Özde Öztekin, 2008. "How Do Large Banking Organizations Manage Their Capital Ratios?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 34(2), pages 123-149, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Gombola, Michael J. & Ho, Amy Yueh-Fang & Huang, Chin-Chuan, 2016. "The effect of leverage and liquidity on earnings and capital management: Evidence from U.S. commercial banks," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 35-58.
    3. Ozili, Peterson K, 2015. "Loan Loss Provisioning, Income Smoothing, Signaling, Capital Management and Procyclicality: Does IFRS Matter? Empirical Evidence from Nigeria," MPRA Paper 68350, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:eee:finsta:v:33:y:2017:i:c:p:23-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ozili, Peterson K, 2017. "Bank Loan Loss Provisions Research: A Review," MPRA Paper 76495, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. repec:hur:ijaraf:v:7:y:2017:i:4:p:134-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Barakat, Ahmed & Hussainey, Khaled, 2013. "Bank governance, regulation, supervision, and risk reporting: Evidence from operational risk disclosures in European banks," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 254-273.
    8. Damiano Bruno Silipo & Giovanni Verga & Sviatlana Hlebik, 2017. "Confidence And Overconfidence In Banking," Working Papers 201703, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Loan loss provisions; Income smoothing; Financial crisis; Bank holding companies;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

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