Bondholder representatives on bank boards: a device for market discipline

Isabelle Distinguin, Laetitia Lepetit*, Frank Strobel, Phan Huy Hieu Tran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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We examine whether board representation of bondholders can be an effective market discipline mechanism to reduce bank risk, using a unique dataset combining information on bondholders and boards of directors of European listed banks. Our results show that the influence of bondholder representatives on the bank board significantly reduces bank risk without impacting profitability. The beneficial effect of this market discipline mechanism is stronger when bondholder representatives have regulatory experience, current or long relationships with their affiliated bondholders, and for more complex banks. In contrast, the reducing impact on bank risk is smaller for banks with lower capitalization levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-765
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number3
Early online date10 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • market discipline
  • bank risk
  • board of directors
  • bondholder representatives


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