Bank capital : definition, adequacy and issue announcement effects
This dissertation focuses primarily on potential explanations for bank common stock abnormal returns, and their patterns, coincident with the announcement of bank capital issues. Potential influences considered include increased regulatory pressure, conflicting regulatory and market views of bank capital adequacy and the relative predictability of security type. Where possible, the dissertation is set in both UK and US contexts. The dissertation has four principal research components; (1) a review of historical and contemporary bank capital regulation in the UK and US. Historical analysis indicates that the definition of capital, as determined by its functional properties, is dynamic and qualifies the consistency of its measurement over time. The regulatory control of absolute levels of capital is seen to have influence on bank structural development, costs and risk. The regulatory control of relative bank capital (ie in terms of balance sheet structure) is found to have a long and controversial history in the US and is effective progenitor of the current methodology of bank capital measurement and assessment, such as the Basle Agreement, and contains a number of potentially costly deficiencies. (2) an examination of bank capital issue announcement effects in the UK. Following similar work in the US (eg Keeley 1989) negative abnormal return effects are found associated with the announcements of UK ordinary share issues. Also, evidence hints that an imposed increase in regulatory capital pressure (viz the introduction of a minimum capital ratio regime) causes a reduction in issue announcement effects for ordinary share issues. (3) assessment of the capital adequacy of UK and US banks from a market perspective and in terms of a number definitions of capital; namely equity, regulatory primary capital (US), and the 1992 Basle Agreement capital. Conflict between market and regulatory views of capital adequacy are observed in certain years for primary capital. In terms of the capital structure relevance hypothesis, this suggests particular costs which may influence issue announcement effects. (4) modelling the predictability of UK bank capital issue security type (viz ordinary share and debt) and assessing the hypothesis that it is inversely related to the announcement abnormal returns.