Common risk factors in bank stocks
This paper provides evidence on the risk factors that are priced in bank equities. Alternative empirical models with precedent in the nonfinancial asset pricing literature are tested, including the single-factor CAPM, three-factor Fama-French model, and ICAPM. Our empirical results indicate that an unconditional two-factor ICAPM model that includes the stock market excess return and shocks to the slope of the yield curve is useful in explaining the cross-section of bank stock returns. However, we find no evidence that firm specific factors such as size and book-to-market ratios are priced in bank stock returns. These results have a number of important implications for the estimation of the banks' cost of capital as well as regulatory initiatives to utilize market discipline to evaluate bank risk under Basel II.
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