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Financial statements and reality: do troubled banks tell all?


  • Jeffery W. Gunther
  • Robert R. Moore


Each quarter, banks file a call report, or Report of Condition and Income, containing hundreds of accounting items pertaining to their financial condition. This article analyzes call report revisions to assess the extent to which regulatory exams promote accurate data. The findings indicate banks with new or emerging difficulties often significantly underreport these problems, intentionally or not. In addition, the findings point to a significant role for exams in uncovering financial problems and ensuring bank accounting statements reflect them. To the extent the loan-loss accounting in call reports is widely used to assess loan quality, these results support the view that exams are important in the public dissemination of accurate information on banks' financial condition.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffery W. Gunther & Robert R. Moore, 2000. "Financial statements and reality: do troubled banks tell all?," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q3, pages 30-35.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:2000:i:q3:p:30-35

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Rebel Cole & Jeffery Gunther, 1998. "Predicting Bank Failures: A Comparison of On- and Off-Site Monitoring Systems," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 13(2), pages 103-117, April.
    3. Rebel A. Cole & Jeffery W. Gunther, 1995. "FIMS: a new monitoring system for banking institutions," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-15.
    4. Larry D. Wall & Timothy W. Koch, 2000. "Bank loan-loss accounting: a review of theoretical and empirical evidence," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q2, pages 1-20.
    5. John R. Walter, 1991. "Loan loss reserves," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Jul, pages 20-30.
    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. Simon H. Kwan & Randy O'Toole, 1997. "Recent developments in loan loss provisioning at U.S. commercial banks," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue jul25.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark M. Spiegel & Nobuyoshi Yamori, 2003. "Determinants of voluntary bank disclosure: evidence from Japanese Shinkin banks," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 03-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    2. Spiegel, Mark M. & Yamori, Nobuyoshi, 2007. "Market price accounting and depositor discipline: The case of Japanese regional banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 769-786, March.
    3. R. Alton Gilbert & Andrew P. Meyer & Mark D. Vaughan, 2006. "Can feedback from the jumbo CD market improve bank surveillance?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 135-175.
    4. Otchere, Isaac, 2009. "Competitive and value effects of bank privatization in developed countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 2373-2385, December.
    5. Mark M. Spiegel & Nobuyoshi Yamori, 2004. "Market price accounting and depositor discipline in Japanese regional banks," Working Paper Series 2004-27, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    6. Otchere, Isaac, 2005. "Do privatized banks in middle- and low-income countries perform better than rival banks? An intra-industry analysis of bank privatization," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8-9), pages 2067-2093, August.

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