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Bank ratings: what determines their quality?

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  • Marqués-Ibáñez, David
  • Hau, Harald
  • Langfield, Sam

Abstract

This paper examines the quality of credit ratings assigned to banks in Europe and the United States by the three largest rating agencies over the past two decades. We interpret credit ratings as relative assessments of creditworthiness, and define a new ordinal metric of rating error based on banks' expected default frequencies. Our results suggest that rating agencies assign more positive ratings to large banks and to those institutions more likely to provide the rating agency with additional securities rating business (as indicated by private structured credit origination activity). These competitive distortions are economically significant and contribute to perpetuate the existence of JEL Classification: G21, G23, G28

Suggested Citation

  • Marqués-Ibáñez, David & Hau, Harald & Langfield, Sam, 2012. "Bank ratings: what determines their quality?," Working Paper Series 1484, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20121484
    Note: 328790
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas Jannone Bellot, MaLuisa Marti Selva, Leandro Garcia Menendez, 2017. "Herding Behaviour among Credit Rating Agencies," Journal of Finance and Economics Research, Geist Science, Iqra University, Faculty of Business Administration, vol. 2(1), pages 56-83, March.
    2. Efing, Matthias & Hau, Harald, 2015. "Structured debt ratings: Evidence on conflicts of interest," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 46-60.
    3. Karam, Philippe & Merrouche, Ouarda & Souissi, Moez & Turk, Rima, 2014. "The Transmission of Liquidity Shocks: Evidence from Credit Rating Downgrades," CEPR Discussion Papers 10252, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Jeon, Doh-Shin & Lovo, Stefano, 2013. "Credit rating industry: A helicopter tour of stylized facts and recent theories," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 643-651.
    5. Mr. Philippe D Karam & Ouarda Merrouche & Moez Souissi & Rima Turk, 2014. "The Transmission of Liquidity Shocks: The Role of Internal Capital Markets and Bank Funding Strategies," IMF Working Papers 2014/207, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Toader, Oana, 2015. "Quantifying and explaining implicit public guarantees for European banks," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 136-147.
    7. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 466-472, May.
    8. Marta Gómez-Puig & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero & Manish K. Singh, 2015. "“Sovereigns and banks in the euro area: a tale of two crises”," IREA Working Papers 201504, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jan 2015.
    9. Themistokles Lazarides & Evaggelos Drimpetas, 2016. "Defining the factors of Fitch rankings in the European banking sector," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 6(2), pages 315-339, August.
    10. CUREA-PITORAC Ruxandra Ioana, 2020. "An Inquiry On Top Banks By Tier 1 Ranking From Central And Eastern Europe," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 64-73, December.
    11. Pilar Gómez-Fernández-Aguado & Purificación Parrado-Martínez & Antonio Partal-Ureña, 2018. "Risk Profile Indicators and Spanish Banks’ Probability of Default from a Regulatory Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(4), pages 1-16, April.
    12. Patrycja Chodnicka Jaworska, "undated". "Prediction Of Banking Sector Condition," Review of Socio - Economic Perspectives 201703, Reviewsep.
    13. repec:erf:erfstu:78 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    conflicts of interest; credit ratings; prudential regulation; rating agencies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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