The purpose of this paper is to investigate if Jordanian banks using provision accounts as a technique to smooth income, manage capital ratio, signal future earning and test other determinants affecting provision accounts.
The study was conducted on all Jordanian listed banks, and it covers the period 2005-2014. Different models are applied to test the dependent variables (loan loss provision [LLP] accounts) and its effects on different explanatory variables by using several statistical techniques (e.g. multiple regression).
The results show that there is no conclusive evidence supports that Jordanian banks used provision to smooth income, manage capital ratio or engage in pro-cyclical behavior. However, a positive and significant effect between one year ahead change in earnings and loan loss allowance, indicating that banks may use provisions to signal future positive changes in earnings. In addition, the results show that loan-to-asset ratio and beginning loan loss allowance have positive effect on provision accounts.
The results of this study are useful in assisting the regulators (e.g. US Securities and Exchange Commission, central bank) in efforts toward improving the quality of the reported financial reporting in the banking industry and focus on LLP management motivations. This study gives shareholders further insight which enables them to better understand the actions of managers and thus increase their control over their investments. Additionally, auditors should be aware of different incentives for using LLP as a tool of earnings management to be able to detect eventual manipulation of accounting earnings.
Banking in is one of the most stringently regulated of sectors and, furthermore, has a major impact on other sectors and on economic growth in general. In view of such importance, this study focuses on the banking industry and contributes to the literature in several ways. First, it represents the first known study, to the best of author knowledge, which examines if Jordanian banks use LLP accounts as a tool to smooth income and/or to manage capital. Second, unlike most existing research, which usually studies one aspect of LLP, this study focuses on four main motivations influencing provision accounts in the banks of Jordan. Third, additional tests were carried out to check the robustness of results, for example, sensitivity analysis is used to examine the change of findings by repeating of tests after using different proxies. Fourth, as a difference from other studies, this study investigates the effects of global financial crisis of 2008 on income smoothing behavior of Jordanian banking sector. Fifth, this paper provides a timely contribution to the continuous debate of the effect of LLP on earnings management in a poorly exploited setting, emerging market context.
The author is indebted to Arab Open University for supporting this study and for two anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback and suggestions that contributed greatly to this article.
Abu-Serdaneh, J. (2018), "Bank loan-loss accounts, income smoothing, capital management, signaling and procyclicality: Evidence from Jordan", Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 677-693. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFRA-06-2016-0041Download as .RIS
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