How does board characteristics and insider ownership affect non-performing loans (NPLS) in European banking?
Universitat de Lleida. Departament d'Administració d'Empreses
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Manuscript type Empirical Research question/issue The state of non-performing loans (NPLs) poses serious threat to the European financial market and this has increased pressure on board of directors to intensify their monitoring functions to safeguard shareholder assets. Yet there is a dearth of
research that complement board characteristics with managerial incentives to address NPLs. We examine 102 banks from 22 European countries to ascertain how board characteristics and insider ownership affect NPLs. Research findings/insight We find that whilst gender diversity, board size and insider ownership have negative relation with NPLs, average board age and board tenure show positive relation. The inclusion of insider ownership improves the significance of board characteristics therefore confirming a complementary instead of substitutable approaches in addressing NPLs. We report significant differences in the intrinsic board characteristics of diversified and non-diversified banks. Theoretical/academic implications We contribute to existing literature by providing empirical support for the stakeholder and agency theories in safeguarding assets of shareholders and indirect stakeholders (society). Practitioner/policy implications Our study adopts an incentivizing approach to risk management and provides a framework for dealing with moral hazards in bank management, which lead to loan losses. Again, our findings justify the European Banking Authority’s policy of the mandatory 40% female independent directors among member countries.