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Shareholder power and income smoothing in Central European banks

Author

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  • Dorota Skała

    (University of Szczecin, Faculty of Economics and Management)

Abstract

We study the process of using loan loss provisions to smooth bank net income in the context of corporate governance structures. Using financial and shareholder data for above 200 banks from Central Europe in the period 2003–2014, we confirm that corporate governance matters for loan loss provision policy. In particular, we find that banks where the primary shareholder is a full owner are more prone to engage in income smoothing than their peers. The mere fact of having one primary shareholder does not provide sufficient incentives for banks to smooth earnings. Once the shareholder stake exceeds the full ownership benchmark, the smoothing process intensifies. Our results have significant policy implications, especially in regions such as Central Europe, where majority and full ownership are a prevailing corporate governance structure in banking systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Dorota Skała, 2018. "Shareholder power and income smoothing in Central European banks," Collegium of Economic Analysis Annals, Warsaw School of Economics, Collegium of Economic Analysis, issue 53, pages 117-130.
  • Handle: RePEc:sgh:annals:i:53:y:2018:p:117-130
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    File URL: http://rocznikikae.sgh.waw.pl/p/roczniki_kae_z53_07.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    5. Laeven, Luc & Levine, Ross, 2009. "Bank governance, regulation and risk taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 259-275, August.
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    12. Gropp, Reint & Köhler, Matthias, 2010. "Bank owners or bank managers: who is keen on risk? Evidence from the financial crisis," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-013, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    income smoothing; corporate governance; Central European banks;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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