Loan loss provision decisions: An empirical analysis of the Spanish depository institutions

Asokan Anandarajan, Iftekhar Hasan, Ana Lozano-Vivas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Accountants and financial economists have long held concerns that inefficient loan loss accounting may have a material impact on reported capital and earnings, especially in the banking industry. Prior research has examined banks' incentives to manipulate loan loss provisions (LLPs) and the resulting impact. However, most of this research has focused on management incentives and other determinants of LLP decisions without addressing the relevant factors associated with best-practiced or efficient LLP decision-making. In this paper, we identify a stochastic frontier model that examines the "efficiency" of the LLP decisions of bank managers. Further we explore the relationship between efficient LLP decision-making and relevant factors that could potentially explain any inefficiency. Our evidence indicates that there is considerable inefficiency in loan loss decision-making among the sample institutions. The research is based on data from the Spanish banking industry, which is particularly relevant in light of the recent deregulatory initiatives in Spain. The findings in this study with regard to the existence of inefficiency in loan loss decisions and the causes of such inefficiency have far-reaching implications for regulators throughout Europe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-77
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Accounting
  • Finance


  • Loan loss provisions
  • Spanish banks
  • Stochastic frontier models


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