Banking competition and misconduct: how dire economic conditions affect banking behavior

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Increasingly, in the last decade, largely due to perceived greater shareholder pressures for more profitable performance, compensation maximization has taken center stage in some segments of the banking industry. Banks need to establish board governance committees with explicit responsibilities to monitor corporate ethics and culture. This paper aims to measure the correlation between dire economic conditions, competition, banking profitability, and misconduct. This is done by means of GDP comparisons to determine economic conditions, calculating z-scores to determine bank risk taking, and analysis of variance of return on assets, return on equity and z-scores, to determine profitability, and fines comparisons to determine misconduct. Analysis finds that dire economic conditions may lead to increased competition, increased competition may lead to increased risk taking, increased risk taking may have an impact on a bank’s financial performance, and decreased financial performance may lead to increase in misconduct.

Keywords: banking competition, banking behavior, economic conditions.
JEL Classification:
C21, G01, G21, G32

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