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Determinants of off‐balance sheet usage in private banks

Elizabeth W. Cooper (Department of Finance, La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA and Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Supervision, Regulation, and Credit, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Studies in Economics and Finance

ISSN: 1086-7376

Article publication date: 4 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the off‐balance sheet (OBS) behavior of a sample of small commercial banks in the USA in 2006. In particular, it aims to study the impact that monitoring intensity has on bank OBS usage.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a two‐stage least squares regression methodology and splits the sample by supervisory bank ratings to ascertain the impact that monitoring intensity has on OBS activity.

Findings

Certain board characteristics and executive compensation schemes do influence the extent of OBS usage in banks only when the bank is poorly rated. When the bank is strong and monitoring is less extreme, these variables have limited relationship with OBS usage.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are consistent with the idea that monitoring intensity increases when ratings decline and this leads to more risk‐averse behavior on the part of bank managers.

Practical implications

These results lend support to the argument of stronger regulation in the banking industry since monitoring does impact on bank management behavior and decision making.

Originality/value

Because of the current financial crisis, research on OBS usage is extremely relevant and important. Here, the paper looks at small private commercial banks that engage in OBS activity. This phenomenon is not as well studied or understood.

Keywords

Citation

Cooper, E.W. (2011), "Determinants of off‐balance sheet usage in private banks", Studies in Economics and Finance, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 248-259. https://doi.org/10.1108/10867371111171528

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited