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Regulatory Sanctions and Reputational Damage in Financial Markets


  • Armour, John
  • Mayer, Colin
  • Polo, Andrea


We study the impact of the announcement of enforcement of financial and securities regulation by the UK’s Financial Services Authority and London Stock Exchange on the market price of penalized firms. Since these agencies do not announce enforcement until a penalty is levied, their actions provide a uniquely clean dataset on which to examine reputational effects. We find that reputational sanctions are very real: their stock price impact is on average ten times larger than the financial penalties imposed. Furthermore, reputational losses are confined to misconduct that directly affects parties who trade with the firm (such as customers and investors). The announcement of a fine for wrongdoing that harms third parties has, if anything, a weakly positive effect on stock prices. Our results have significant implications for understanding both corporate reputation and regulatory policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Armour, John & Mayer, Colin & Polo, Andrea, 2010. "Regulatory Sanctions and Reputational Damage in Financial Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 8058, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8058

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xi Li & Amir N. Licht & Christopher Poliquin & Jordan I. Siegel, 2015. "What Makes the Bonding Stick? A Natural Experiment Involving the U.S. Supreme Court and Cross-Listed Firms," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2015-19, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Mar 2015.
    2. Thierry Kirat & Amir Rezaee, 2015. "Do financial markets react to regulatory sanctions? Evidence from France," Post-Print hal-01520528, HAL.
    3. Götz, Martin R. & Tröger, Tobias H., 2017. "Fines for misconduct in the banking sector: What is the situation in the EU?," SAFE White Paper Series 47, Goethe University Frankfurt, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe.
    4. Edward M. Iacobucci, 2014. "On the Interaction between Legal and Reputational Sanctions," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 189-207.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/15152 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Corporate Law; Enforcement; Regulation; Reputation;

    JEL classification:

    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation


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