We investigate whether loan growth affects the riskiness of individual banks in 16 major countries. Using Bankscope data from more than 16,000 individual banks during 1997-2007, we test three hypotheses on the relation between abnormal loan growth and asset risk, bank profitability, and bank solvency. We find that loan growth leads to an increase in loan loss provisions during the subsequent three years, to a decrease in relative interest income, and to lower capital ratios. Further analyses show that loan growth also has a negative impact on the risk-adjusted interest income. These results suggest that loan growth represents an important driver of the riskiness of banks.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Bank lending, Bank profitability, Bank solvency, Credit risk, Loan losses
JEL Financial Institutions and Services: General (jel G20), Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Mortgages (jel G21)
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbankfin.2010.06.007, hdl.handle.net/1765/20041
Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Journal of Banking & Finance
Foos, D, Norden, L, & Weber, M. (2010). Loan growth and riskiness of banks. Journal of Banking & Finance, 34(12), 2929–2940. doi:10.1016/j.jbankfin.2010.06.007