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Loss underreporting and the auditing role of bank exams

  • Jeffrey W. Gunther
  • Robert R. Moore
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    Using a unique set of banking data containing both originally reported and subsequently revised financial variables, we study the incidence of adverse revisions to accounting statements. As might be expected, our findings indicate banks are more likely to underreport financial losses when their financial performance is substandard. In addition, we provide evidence that supervisory exams have an important role in uncovering financial problems and ensuring bank accounting statements reflect them. Specifically, our estimations point to a significant auditing effect, through which exams can lead to a restatement of financial results to reflect a greater degree of financial difficulty than originally reported. Interestingly, this auditing role of exams is evident not only for institutions previously identified as supervisory concerns, but also at highly rated banks, where financial problems are only just emerging. Because a banking downturn would increase not only the number of problem institutions requiring additional supervisory attention, but also the incidence of loss underreporting at highly rated banks, our findings stress the value of efforts to maintain or bolster the supervisory system's capacity to expand exam activity quickly and substantially.

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    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/bankinfo/conevent/slowdown/gunther_moore.pdf
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    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its journal Conference Series ; [Proceedings].

    Volume (Year): (2002)
    Issue (Month): ()
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbcp:y:2002:x:1
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    1. R. Alton Gilbert, 1993. "Implications of annual examinations for the Bank Insurance Fund," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 35-52.
    2. Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. Rebel Cole & Jeffery Gunther, 1998. "Predicting Bank Failures: A Comparison of On- and Off-Site Monitoring Systems," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 103-117, April.
    5. Matthew C. Farrelly & William N. Evans & Edward Montgomery, 1999. "Do Workplace Smoking Bans Reduce Smoking?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 728-747, September.
    6. Flannery, Mark J & Houston, Joel F, 1999. "The Value of a Government Monitor for U.S. Banking Firms," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 14-34, February.
    7. Joshua D. Angrist, 2000. "Estimation of Limited-Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Beaver, William H. & Engel, Ellen E., 1996. "Discretionary behavior with respect to allowances for loan losses and the behavior of security prices," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-3), pages 177-206, October.
    9. Berger, Allen N. & King, Kathleen Kuester & O'Brien, James M., 1991. "The limitations of market value accounting and a more realistic alternative," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(4-5), pages 753-783, September.
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