Analyzing Impact of a Crisis on Bank Financial Ratios

Osman Nal, Andrew Cai


In this study we provide a practical framework and methodology for analyzing the effects of banking shocks (economic or financial in nature) on bank fundamentals, that avoids the use of complicated econometrics methods. For this, we focus our attention to the effects of the 2007-2008 global financial crisis on the four largest US banks and examine the variation of trends in the select financial ratios for those institutions using quarterly regulatory data running from 2002-Q4 to 2020-Q2. We start by plotting time series charts of those financial ratios for each bank and compare the before-crisis, transition and after-crisis periods. For this, we simply fit trend lines with three parameters of shift, slope, and volatility to the banking data. The shift parameter describes the level change of the variable when before- and after-crisis periods are compared. The slope parameter pronounces the difference in steepness of the trend lines, while the volatility parameter is associated with all three periods and describe the variation in the data during each period. Our results indicate that capital ratios, an important regulatory financial ratio, are higher across the board in the after-crisis period compared to before-crisis period, suggesting a positive shift. We don’t see significant changes in slope parameter for the capital ratio series leading us to suggest the use of dummy variable regression model where slope is treated as a fixed constant. We further show that pre-crisis and transition periods are characterized by higher volatilities that ultimately subside in the after-crisis period. Lastly, we conclude by suggesting that financial practitioners use the shift, slope and volatility parameters in understanding trends in financial time series data since it is easy to implement and interpret the results compared to more sophisticated econometric models.

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Copyright (c) 2020 Osman Nal, Andrew Cai

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Accounting and Finance Research
ISSN 1927-5986 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5994 (Online) Email:

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