Is There a Difference Between Solicited and Unsolicited Bank Ratings and, If So, Why?
This paper analyses the effect of soliciting a rating on the actual outcome of bank ratings. Using two sample banks (one rated by Fitch and one rated by S&P), I find evidence that unsolicited ratings tend to be lower than solicited ones, after accounting for differences in observable bank characteristics. This downward bias does not seem to be explained by the fact that better-quality banks self-select into the solicited group. Rather, unsolicited ratings appear to be lower because they are based on public information and are therefore dependent on the quantity of public information disclosed by the banks. As a result, unsolicited ratings tend to be more conservative than solicited ratings, which incorporate both public and non-public information. While the latter result is also consistent with the fact that credit rating agencies may blackmail low-disclosure firms, the findings suggest that blackmailing—if it is actually used—is ineffective in making these firms start to pay for a rating. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013
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- Winnie P. H. Poon & Michael Firth, 2005. "Are Unsolicited Credit Ratings Lower? International Evidence From Bank Ratings," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(9-10), pages 1741-1771.
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- Jorion, Philippe & Liu, Zhu & Shi, Charles, 2005. "Informational effects of regulation FD: evidence from rating agencies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 309-330, May.
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- Baek, Jae-Seung & Kang, Jun-Koo & Suh Park, Kyung, 2004. "Corporate governance and firm value: evidence from the Korean financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 265-313, February.
- Yu, Fan, 2005. "Accounting transparency and the term structure of credit spreads," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 53-84, January.
- Winnie P. H. Poon & Junsoo Lee & Benton E. Gup, 2009. "Do Solicitations Matter in Bank Credit Ratings? Results from a Study of 72 Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 285-314, 03.
- Giuliano Iannotta, 2006. "Testing for Opaqueness in the European Banking Industry: Evidence from Bond Credit Ratings," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 287-309, December.
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