Does political influence distort banking regulation? Evidence from the US

Giota Papadimitri, Fotios Pasiouras, Gioia Pescetto, Ansgar Wohlschlegel

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This study examines the interplay between political influence and regulatory decision making. Political influence is captured based on whether a bank is headquartered in a state where an elected official holds a chair position on a congressional committee related to the banking and financial services industry. Using data of US commercial banks over the period 2000-2015, we show that our measure of political influence reduces a bank’s probability of receiving a formal regulatory enforcement action. Results are robust to the use of alternative model specifications and the sample restrictions. However, we find that various bank and environmental characteristics are important conditional factors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100835
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Financial Stability
Early online date11 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Political Influence
  • Congressional Committees
  • Banking Supervision
  • Enforcement Actions


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