Αρχική Σελίδα Αρχική Σελίδα
  Rss Feeds

 

BANK LEVERAGE AND RETURN ON EQUITY TARGETING:

INTRINSIC PROCYCLICALITY OF SHORT-TERM CHOICES

 

Spyros Pagratis

Athens University of Economics and Business

 

Eleni Karakatsani

Bank of Greece

 

Helen Louri

Athens University of Economics and Business,

Bank of Greece and

London School of Economics

 

 

 

ABSTRACT

We find evidence that banks target return on equity (RoE) and make active use of leverage to affect the speed of adjustment towards RoE targets. That holds for both the pre- and post-2007 periods and especially for banks that tend to operate with above median leverage among their peer group. As a result, RoE targeting could affect leverage dynamics and amplify cyclical fluctuations as banks take on more leverage to achieve high returns when risk premia are low, while ‘rush for the exit’ and delever to contain losses when the cycle turns.  Therefore, recent proposals that aim to align executive pay with long-term performance by restricting the use of profitability metrics such as RoE from remuneration schemes seem to be in the right direction. 

 

 

 

Keywords: Banks; Return on Equity; Target; Leverage; Procyclicality

JEL classification: G21; G28; G32; G38

 

 

Acknowledgements: We wish to thank Heather Gibson, Elias Tzavalis, Vasiliki Dimakopoulou and John Polycarpou for insightful comments and suggestions. Spyros Pagratis gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Research Centre of the Athens University of Economics and Business (ER-1726-01). The views expressed are our own and not necessarily shared by any of the institutions we are affiliated with. Any errors remain our responsibility.

 

Correspondence:

Spyros Pagratis

Athens University of Economics and Business

76 Patission Street, 10434

Athens, Greece.

Tel.:+30 210 820 3392,

e-mail:spagratis@aueb.gr



Πλήρες Κείμενο