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Impairment of intangible assets and disclosure by Italian banks

Anna Grazia Quaranta, Nico Di Gabriele and Ermanno Zigiotti

Managerial Finance, 2019, vol. 45, issue 2, 311-330

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the methods used to perform impairment test for intangible assets from a business combination and the information provided by the consolidated financial statements of a Group of Italian banks in the period 2009-2014. The purpose is to verify if, as assumed in literature, there is a positive link between profitability and the tendency of manager’s to post the impairment losses of intangible assets promptly and accurately. Design/methodology/approach - The existence of a link between profitability and the quality of disclosure was verified by constructing correlation indices, and then ascertaining not only the reliability but also the strength and direction of the statistical connection between the above two aspects. A multivariate linear regression reconfirmed the results obtained by the previous bivariate analysis. Findings - The results confirm the basic assumption, showing that the link between the aspects considered is statistically significant and positive in all the years in question. Originality/value - This study fills a gap, given that no papers were found in literature specifically pertaining to banks and other financial institutions. Moreover, the decision to focus the study on Italian banks seems to be particularly appropriate for a number of different reasons: before the financial crisis, Italian banks made numerous acquisitions, posting high amounts for intangible assets; the financial crisis made the stock market prices plummet, thus making it necessary to write-off intangible assets from business combinations; and even before the ESMA, the Bank of Italy intervened on several occasions on the question of reporting, urging Italian banks to comply with disclosure requirements and impairment criteria.

Keywords: Disclosure; Banking sector; Intangible assets; Impairment test; Multivariate analyses (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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