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Title: The credit rating industry under new regulatory regimes : the case of financial institutions
Author: Jones, Laurence
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 735X
Awarding Body: Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2019
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The dominant role of credit ratings, along with the failure of important FIs, exacerbated the 2008 crisis and caused further damage to European economies, which highlighted the need for effective regulation to prevent a reoccurrence. This thesis investigates the effect of EU and US recent regulatory reforms of the rating industry on the quality of credit ratings of financial institutions (FIs), as well as the impact of the new EU financial regulatory initiatives on the performance of FIs. The first empirical Chapter focuses on the EU reforms of credit rating agencies (CRAs) and provides evidence supporting the presence of a conservative rating bias in the post regulatory period, as increased scrutiny, fines and liability increase the cost of over rating. CRAs exhibit an unwarranted decrease in EU FI ratings, evidenced by an increase in false warning and a fall in the informativeness of FI rating downgrades in the post regulatory period. A subsequent rise in stock market responses to rating upgrades is consistent with CRAs expending greater effort to ensure they are justified. The second empirical Chapter focuses on the US reforms of CRAs and reports no significant impact on FI ratings, rather each CRA has responded differently to the passage of the US Dodd-Frank Act (DFA). There is, however, a significant reduction in stock market reactions to FI credit rating signals, consistent with diminishing reliance on credit ratings by market participants in the US. The third empirical Chapter builds and estimates a dynamic model of FI behaviour using discrete choice dynamic programming (DCDP). The model is used to simulate and examine the impact of regulations, including EU reforms of CRAs, capital adequacy regulation (Basel III), and the bail-in regime, on FIs' behaviour in the real economy. The results show that the shift to increasingly conservative rating behaviour triggered by the CRA reforms has caused FIs to respond by manipulating their capital ratios and to reduce lending activities. The results also show that more stringent capital requirements stimulate FIs to hold more capital, reduce lending and reveal a positive influence in reducing bank insolvency rates, particularly during the crisis period. The introduction of a bail-in regime reveals similar results, but crucially stimulates the adoption of a stable equilibrium (unlike Basel III). This thesis highlights drawbacks with the current regulatory reforms of the EU and US FI rating industries and suggests potential solutions. The thesis also informs the policy debate surrounding the best way to regulate both CRAs and FIs and ensure that there is not a reoccurrence of the problems present in the 2008 financial crisis.
Supervisor: Alsakka, Rasha ; Mantovan, Noemi Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Credit rating agencies ; Bank regulation ; Dynamic structural estimation