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Public disclosure and risk-adjusted performance at bank holding companies

This paper examines the relationship between the amount of information disclosed by bank holding companies (BHCs) and their subsequent risk-adjusted performance. Using data from the annual reports of BHCs with large trading operations, we construct an index of publicly disclosed information about the BHCs’ forward-looking estimates of market risk exposure in their trading and market-making activities. The paper then examines the relationship between this index and subsequent risk-adjusted returns in the BHCs’ trading activities and for the firm overall. The key finding is that more disclosure is associated with higher risk-adjusted returns. This result is strongest for BHCs where trading represents a large share of overall firm activity. More disclosure does not appear to be associated with higher risk-adjusted performance during the financial crisis, however, suggesting that the findings are a “business as usual” phenomenon. These findings suggest that greater disclosure is associated with more efficient risk-taking and thus improved risk-return tradeoffs, a channel for market discipline that has not been emphasized previously in the literature.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 293.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision: 01 Feb 2015
Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:293
Note: Previous title: “Public Disclosure, Risk, and Performance at Bank Holding Companies”
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  1. Robert R. Bliss & Mark J. Flannery, 2000. "Market discipline in the governance of U.S. Bank Holding Companies: monitoring vs. influencing," Working Paper Series WP-00-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Beverly Hirtle, 2003. "What market risk capital reporting tells us about bank risk," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 37-54.
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  8. Pérignon, Christophe & Smith, Daniel R., 2010. "The level and quality of Value-at-Risk disclosure by commercial banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 362-377, February.
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  16. Nier, Erlend & Baumann, Ursel, 2006. "Market discipline, disclosure and moral hazard in banking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 332-361, July.
  17. Balasubramnian, Bhanu & Cyree, Ken B., 2011. "Market discipline of banks: Why are yield spreads on bank-issued subordinated notes and debentures not sensitive to bank risks?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 21-35, January.
  18. Stewart C. Myers & Raghuram G. Rajan, 1995. "The Paradox of Liquidity," NBER Working Papers 5143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Simon H. Kwan, 2004. "Testing the strong-form of market discipline: the effects of public market signals on bank risk," Working Paper Series 2004-19, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  20. Robert R. Bliss & Mark J. Flannery, 2002. "Market Discipline in the Governance of U.S. Bank Holding Companies: Monitoring vs. Influencing," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 6(3), pages 361-396.
  21. Jeremy Berkowitz & James O'Brien, 2002. "How Accurate Are Value-at-Risk Models at Commercial Banks?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1093-1111, 06.
  22. Darryll Hendricks & Beverly Hirtle, 1997. "Bank capital requirements for market risk: the internal models approach," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 1-12.
  23. Giuliano Iannotta, 2006. "Testing for Opaqueness in the European Banking Industry: Evidence from Bond Credit Ratings," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 30(3), pages 287-309, December.
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