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Auditor choice and bank risk taking

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  • Bley, Jorg
  • Saad, Mohsen
  • Samet, Anis

Abstract

We investigate the importance of auditor choice on bank risk-taking in a cross-country setting for 5498 banks from 116 emerging and developed countries. Using the Z-score as our main proxy for bank risk, we report evidence that hiring a Big Four auditing firm reduces bank-risk even after controlling for bank and country variables. The reported evidence is valid for banks outside the United States and is robust to concerns relating to endogeneity and alternative banking risk measures. The results are economically meaningful. All else constant, the Z-score of a bank audited by a Big Four firm is 10.4% higher than a similar bank with a non-BIG Four auditor. Moreover, consistent with the view that Big Four auditors serve a corporate governance mechanism in emerging markets, we find that Big Four auditors maintain the ability to curb bank risk in countries characterized by weak institutions. Finally, our results suggest that while audit quality is associated with bank safety, its impact is reduced in countries that require audit-oversight.

Suggested Citation

  • Bley, Jorg & Saad, Mohsen & Samet, Anis, 2019. "Auditor choice and bank risk taking," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 37-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:61:y:2019:i:c:p:37-52
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2018.11.003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banking; Audit quality; Corporate governance; Risk taking;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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