Purpose – Using bank-level data over the 1994–2015 period, the authors aim to investigate the role of bank- specific factors on credit risk in Italy by considering two different groups of banks, namely, cooperative and non-cooperative (commercial and popular), in different local markets. Design/methodology/approach – Relying on highly territorially disaggregated data at labour market areas’ level, the authors estimate the impact of the role of bank-specific factors on credit risk in Italy from the estimation of a fixed-effect estimator. Non-performing loans to total loans has been used as a proxy of credit risk; the bank-specific factors are as follows: growth of loans, reflecting credit policy; log of total assets, controlling for banks’ size; loans to total assets, reflecting the volume of credit market; equity to total assets, capturing the solvency of banks and reflecting their capital strength; return on assets, reflecting the profitability of banks; deposits to loans, reflecting the intermediation cost; cost of total assets, reflecting the banks’ efficiency or volume of intermediation cost. Findings – The empirical findings suggest that regulatory credit policy, capitalisation, volume of credit and volume of intermediation costs are the main bank-specific factors affecting non-performing loans. Nevertheless, the present analysis suggests that the behaviour of cooperative banks’ behaviour seems to be in line with that of commercial rather than popular banks, casting doubts about the feasibility of their credit policies. It turns out that recent reforms involving popular and cooperative banks represent the first step toward the enhancement of the stability and efficiency of the Italian banking system. While the present study’s benchmark results are not particularly affected by the degree of competition in the banking sector and by banks’ size, it shows that both cooperative and non-cooperative banks have undertaken more prudent credit policies after the advent of the financial crisis and the introduction of the Basel regulation. Originality/value – The relationship between bank-specific factors and credit risk has been analysed using a rich sample of cooperative, commercial and popular banks in Italy over the 1994–2015 period. The authors rely on labour market areas being sub-regional geographical areas where the bulk of the labour force lives and works. The contribution is motivated by the financial distress experienced after the 2008 financial crisis, which has significantly hit the Italian banking system and cooperative banks in particular.

Bank-specific factors and credit risk: evidence from Italian banks in different local markets

Cristian Barra
;
Nazzareno Ruggiero
2022

Abstract

Purpose – Using bank-level data over the 1994–2015 period, the authors aim to investigate the role of bank- specific factors on credit risk in Italy by considering two different groups of banks, namely, cooperative and non-cooperative (commercial and popular), in different local markets. Design/methodology/approach – Relying on highly territorially disaggregated data at labour market areas’ level, the authors estimate the impact of the role of bank-specific factors on credit risk in Italy from the estimation of a fixed-effect estimator. Non-performing loans to total loans has been used as a proxy of credit risk; the bank-specific factors are as follows: growth of loans, reflecting credit policy; log of total assets, controlling for banks’ size; loans to total assets, reflecting the volume of credit market; equity to total assets, capturing the solvency of banks and reflecting their capital strength; return on assets, reflecting the profitability of banks; deposits to loans, reflecting the intermediation cost; cost of total assets, reflecting the banks’ efficiency or volume of intermediation cost. Findings – The empirical findings suggest that regulatory credit policy, capitalisation, volume of credit and volume of intermediation costs are the main bank-specific factors affecting non-performing loans. Nevertheless, the present analysis suggests that the behaviour of cooperative banks’ behaviour seems to be in line with that of commercial rather than popular banks, casting doubts about the feasibility of their credit policies. It turns out that recent reforms involving popular and cooperative banks represent the first step toward the enhancement of the stability and efficiency of the Italian banking system. While the present study’s benchmark results are not particularly affected by the degree of competition in the banking sector and by banks’ size, it shows that both cooperative and non-cooperative banks have undertaken more prudent credit policies after the advent of the financial crisis and the introduction of the Basel regulation. Originality/value – The relationship between bank-specific factors and credit risk has been analysed using a rich sample of cooperative, commercial and popular banks in Italy over the 1994–2015 period. The authors rely on labour market areas being sub-regional geographical areas where the bulk of the labour force lives and works. The contribution is motivated by the financial distress experienced after the 2008 financial crisis, which has significantly hit the Italian banking system and cooperative banks in particular.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4805433
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact