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The Governance Effects of Credit Rating Changes: A Study of the European Banking Market
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background and problem: Recent banking and financial crises has undoubtedly stressed the importance of a sound and well-functioning banking system. The banking industry is in critical need of strong governance stemming from their opaque and complex business along with the high social costs incurred in the event of bank failure. Previous research has shown that credit rating changes serve as a governance mechanism on the U.S. banking market, affecting real economic decision-making. However, no existing research has been conducted in an European context, rendering the objective of this thesis.

Objective: The objective of this study is to examine the governance effects of credit rating changes on banks within the European banking market.

Methodology: The objective of this thesis is achieved by using a novel and comprehensive data set comprising credit rating changes and financial accounting variables of 202 banks on the European banking market between the time period 1997-2011. A quantitative method is implemented to examine banks’ financial accounting variables in the event of credit rating changes. In order to measure the isolated effect from a credit rating change, the difference-in- differences econometric approach in combination with a Propensity Score Matching procedure will be conducted.

Conclusions: The results from this research provide numerous evidence that credit rating changes have consistent governance effects on the European banking market. In the event of a credit rating downgrade, banks on the European banking market decrease in size and set aside more capital as reserves for non performing loans. In the event of a credit rating upgrade, banks increase in size and re-allocate assets, providing evidence that these banks have a more optimistic view of their financial conditions. The findings in this thesis are in line with previous research on the U.S. banking market, however, banks on the European banking market seems to have, on average, a more conservative attitude towards risk-taking in the event of a credit rating change. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 81 p.
Keyword [en]
Credit Rating Changes, Banks, European Banking Market
National Category
Business Administration Economics
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-26428OAI: diva2:627846
Subject / course
Business Administration - Other
Educational program
Business Administration and Economics Programme, 240 credits
Available from: 2013-06-13 Created: 2013-06-12 Last updated: 2013-11-01Bibliographically approved

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