Operational Risk and Reputation in the Financial Industry

R. Gillet, G.M.B.J. Hübner, S. Plunus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


By examining stock market reactions to the announcement of operational losses by financial companies, this paper attempts to disentangle operational losses from reputational damage. Our analysis deals with 154 events coming from the FIRST database of OpVantage. Events occurred between 1990 and 2004 in companies belonging to the financial sector and that are listed on the major European and US Stock Exchanges. Results show significant, negative abnormal returns at the announcement date of the loss, along with an increase in the volumes of trade. In cases of internal fraud, the loss in market value is greater that the operational loss amount announced, which is interpreted as a sign of reputational damage. Negative impact is proportionally greater when the loss amount represents a larger share in the company's net profit. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-235
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Banking & Finance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Operational risk
  • Reputational risk
  • Event study

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