Banking supervision and nonperforming loans: a cross-country analysis
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to empirically analyse the cross-countries determinants of nonperforming loans (NPLs), the potential impact of supervisory devices, and institutional environment on credit risk exposure. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs aggregate banking, financial, economic, and legal environment data for a panel of 59 countries over the period 2002-2006. It develops a comprehensive model to explain differences in the level of NPLs between countries. To assess the role of regulatory supervision on credit risk, the paper uses several interactions between institutional features and regulatory devices. Findings – The empirical results indicate that higher capital adequacy ratio (CAR) and prudent provisioning policy seems to reduce the level of problem loans. The paper also reports a desirable impact of private ownership, foreign participation, and bank concentration. However, the findings do not support the view that market discipline leads to better economic outcomes. All regulatory devices do not significantly reduce problem loans for countries with weak institutions, corrupt environment, and little democracy. Finally, the paper shows that the effective way to reduce bad loans is through strengthening the legal system and increasing transparency and democracy, rather than focusing on regulatory and supervisory issues. Practical implications – First, higher CARs results in less credit exposures. Second, international regulators should continue their efforts to enhance financial development. The results suggest that foreign participation plays an important role in reducing credit exposure of financial institutions. However, in developed countries, foreign entry led to more problem loans. Finally, to reduce credit risk exposure in countries with weak institutions, the effective way to do it is through enhancing the legal system, strengthening institutions, and increasing transparency and democracy. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the literature on banking regulation and supervision. It examines aggregated data which best reflect the level of NPL of the banks in a country as opposed to individual data included in databases that suffer from the problem of representativeness. It considers the impact of regulatory variables after controlling for bank industry factors that alter primarily problem loans. Finally, the paper examines the effectiveness of regulation through the inclusion of institutional factors.
Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
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