Can we predict the likelihood of financial distress in companies from their corporate governance and borrowing?

Sara Sofia Gomes Mariano (Claude Littner Business School, University of West London, London, UK)
Javad Izadi (Claude Littner Business School, University of West London, London, UK)
Maurice Pratt (University of West London, London, UK)

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management

ISSN: 1834-7649

Publication date: 8 January 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of corporate governance structures on the likelihood of financial distress in UK listed companies. The paper examines the impact of borrowing and corporate governance structures on financial distress likelihood in UK companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a quantitative approach with financial, governance and borrowing measures and data from 270 firm-observations between 2010 and 2018. The study analyses the impact of borrowing and corporate governance structures to indicate financial distress likelihood in British companies. Corporate governance variables such as ownership concentration, independence indicators, chief executive officer duality, director remuneration and corporate loans are considered, as well as the UK Corporate Governance Code.

Findings

The results indicate that companies with low ownership concentration and a low degree of independence are more likely to incur financial distress. Larger boards and better director remuneration can reduce financial distress likelihood and the existence of corporate loans can increase this likelihood. Empirical consideration of corporate borrowing is a new contribution to the literature.

Originality/value

Variables are highlighted and aggregated that have not otherwise been studied together; the UK Corporate Governance Code’s main ideas are empirically supported; the study is useful for defining corporate governance structure strategies.

Keywords

Citation

Mariano, S.S.G., Izadi, J. and Pratt, M. (2021), "Can we predict the likelihood of financial distress in companies from their corporate governance and borrowing?", International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJAIM-08-2020-0130

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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