Audit committee oversight and bank financial reporting quality

Chronopoulos, Dimitris K.; Rempoutsika, Lemonia M. and Wilson, John O. S. (2023). Audit committee oversight and bank financial reporting quality. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jbfa.12738

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of audit committee oversight on the financial reporting quality of US bank holding companies. To overcome identification concerns, we use Section 165 h of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which requires publicly traded bank holding companies with assets exceeding $10 billion to have separate audit and risk committees. We utilise a difference‐in‐differences framework where our treatment group comprises bank holding companies that were required to separate audit and risk oversight functions following the introduction of Section 165 h and our control group comprises counterparts that already had separate audit and risk committees prior to the passage of Section 165 h. We estimate the difference in the behavior of treated bank holding companies between the pre‐ and post‐implementation period of Section 165 h with the same difference in the behavior of control group counterparts and find that the separation of audit and risk committees leads to an improvement in financial reporting quality. We attribute the observed improvements in financial reporting quality to the increased focus of audit committees arising from a reduction in the volume and complexity of tasks undertaken following the implementation of Section 165 h. [math mode missing closing $]

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