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Rating Assignments: Lessons from International Banks

  • Guglielmo Maria Caporale
  • Roman Matousek
  • Chris Stewart

This paper estimates ordered logit and probit regression models for bank ratings which also include a country index to capture country-specific variation. The empirical findings provide support to the hypothesis that the individual international bank ratings assigned by Fitch Ratings are underpinned by fundamental quantitative financial analyses. Also, there is strong evidence of a country effect. Our model is shown to provide accurate predictions of bank ratings for the period prior to the 2007 – 2008 banking crisis based upon publicly available information. However, our results also suggest that quantitative models are not likely to be able to predict ratings with complete accuracy. Furthermore, we find that both quantitative models and rating agencies are likely to produce highly inaccurate predictions of ratings during periods of financial instability.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2618.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2618
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  1. Altman, Edward I. & Saunders, Anthony, 2001. "An analysis and critique of the BIS proposal on capital adequacy and ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 25-46, January.
  2. Kamstra, Mark & Kennedy, Peter & Suan, Teck-Kin, 2001. "Combining Bond Rating Forecasts Using Logit," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 36(2), pages 75-96, May.
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  4. Kamastra, M & Kennedy, P, 1996. "Combining Qualitative Forecasts Using Logit," Discussion Papers dp96-08, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
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  8. 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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  11. Feng, D. & Gourieroux, C. & Jasiak, J., 2008. "The ordered qualitative model for credit rating transitions," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 111-130, January.
  12. David F. Hendry, 2001. "Modelling UK inflation, 1875-1991," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 255-275.
  13. Stefanescu, Catalina & Tunaru, Radu & Turnbull, Stuart, 2009. "The credit rating process and estimation of transition probabilities: A Bayesian approach," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 216-234, March.
  14. Altman, Edward I. & Rijken, Herbert A., 2004. "How rating agencies achieve rating stability," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2679-2714, November.
  15. Pinches, George E & Mingo, Kent A, 1973. "A Multivariate Analysis of Industrial Bond Ratings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(1), pages 1-18, March.
  16. Reinhart, Carmen & Levich, Richard & Majoni, Giovanni, 2002. "Ratings, rating agencies and the global financial system: Summary and policy implications," MPRA Paper 13249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. David T. Llewellyn, 2008. "The Northern Rock crisis: a multi-dimensional problem waiting to happen," Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 16(1), pages 35-58, February.
  18. Meyer, Paul A & Pifer, Howard W, 1970. "Prediction of Bank Failures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(4), pages 853-68, September.
  19. Kolari, James & Glennon, Dennis & Shin, Hwan & Caputo, Michele, 2002. "Predicting large US commercial bank failures," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 361-387.
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