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ISEG 2S | Bank ratings: What determines their quality?

12 Apr from 14:00 to 14:01
Quelhas 6 | Floor 3 | Delta Room


Harald Hau

Swiss Finance Institute


Bank ratings: What determines their quality?

Jointly with:

Lisbon Finance Seminars


This paper examines the quality of credit ratings assigned to banks by the three largest rating agencies. We interpret credit ratings as relative assessments of creditworthiness, and define a new ordinal metric of rating error based on banks' expected default frequencies. Our results suggest that on average large banks receive more positive bank ratings, particularly from the agency to which the bank provides substantial securitization business. These competitive distortions are economically significant and contribute to perpetuate the existence of 'too-big-to-fail' banks. We also show that, overall, differential risk weights recommended by the Basel accords for investment grade banks bear no significant relationship to empirical default probabilities.




This seminars series is organized by

Margarida Abreu


Raquel M. Gaspar

(FIN/MG) and

Isabel Proença



All speakers are available to meet faculty at ISEG during the afternoon after the talk. Slots are limited. To book your time with the speaker, contact one of the coordination team members.

To join the ISEG 2S Seminar Mailing List and receive regular information contact

Filomena Ferreira


If you come to the seminars at ISEG by car, please contact

Filomena Ferreira

to assure your entrance into the park.