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Working paper

AN OVERCONFIDENT CEO VS A RATIONAL BOARD: THE TALE ABOUT BANK RISKTAKING

Anastasia Suraeva, Stepanova A. N.
Bank risk-taking behaviour is of significant interest for researches and policymakers because financial failures due to excessive risk in this sector can have severe consequences for the bank’s numerous stakeholders and for the macroeconomic system overall. A growing literature investigates the main factors contributing to “well above average” risk. In particular, this study explains risk strategies in firms taking into account the bounded rationality of corporate governance agents. On a panel dataset of 110 listed US banks in the period of 2011-2016 empirical evidence is provided that excessive risk-taking in banks arises from the cognitive bias of the overconfidence of CEO decision-making. The study also presents how the impact of an overconfident CEO on risk-taking is affected considering the interaction of CEO overconfidence with the board of directors. It was revealed that the CEO's positive influence on risk is moderated if the board is an effective monitoring mechanism with the presence of independent directors who are experts in the financial sphere.