Accountability Practices of Islamic Banks: A Stakeholders' Perspective
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This study explores the concept of accountability in Islamic Banks (IB), which may achieve through disclosure. It aims to measuring the bank’s disclosure levels which contains Sharia, Social and Financial (SSF) as well as determinants and consequences of this disclosure. It moreover aims to identify the gap between Islamic banks’ board and stakeholders concerned with the accountabilities priorities of IBs. To achieve these objectives the researcher conducted six empirical studies. The first three empirical studies uses content analysis to measuring compliance level with Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) standards as well as measuring the and sharia, social and financial disclosure (SSFD). It furthermore adopts Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) to identify the determinants of SSF reporting related to firm characteristics and corporate governance of Board of Directors (BOD) and Sharia Supervisory Board (SSB). The fourth empirical study uses the same method (manual content analysis) and OLS to measuring the economic consequences of SSFD on the firm value through testing the impacts of disclosure on market capitalization and return on assets. The fifth empirical study adopts questionnaire as well as Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to measures the non-economic consequences of SSFD though surveying the perceptions of stakeholders who deal with IBs about the increasing SSFD on loyalty; trust and satisfaction. Finally, the sixth empirical study uses questionnaire to explore the consequences of SSF practices on the perceptions 600 stakeholders who deal with IBs and non-customers who do not deal with IBs. Highlighting the distinctions between economic and non-economic consequences of disclosure in the study enables the researcher to obtain greater insights into the implications of SSF reporting. Moreover, exploring accountability practices from different viewpoints (management, stakeholders and non-customers) and based on different methods (content analysis and questionnaire) allows the researcher to obtain greater insights into IBs accountabilities’ practices. This study provides several interesting findings. With regard to the disclosure and compliance levels, the study finds a variation between IBs in the number of SSFs disclosed, with a notably low level of non-financial reporting (Sharia and social). It also finds high compliance level with AAOIFI standards related to financial and Sharia reporting and low compliance levels with social reporting requirements. Concerning with the determinants of disclosure; the analysis shows positive significant association of disclosure levels with existing Sharia auditing department; auditor; size and profitability. It also finds that corporate governance mechanisms play an important role in improving SSF reporting. The analysis indicates that corporate governance mechanism of board of directors (BOD) as well as Sharia supervisory board (SSB) are the main determinants behind the disclosure levels for IBs such as SSB size, SSB reputation; BOD independence, duality in position and ownership structure. Concerned with the economic consequences of disclosure, the study finds that Sharia, social and overall disclosures have a positive impact on Firm Value (FV) based on the accounting-based measure (ROA). It moreover finds that Sharia and overall disclosure has a positive significant impact on the FV based on market-based measure (Market Capitalization). It argues that the association between disclosure and FV is sensitive to the category of disclosure and the proxy employed for FV. Consequently, the study provides evidence that the SSF disclosures not derived from the same factors, and both have a different impact on firm value. With regard to the non-economic consequences of disclosure, the results indicate that there is a significant association between disclosure and stakeholders’ trust, satisfaction, and loyalty. The results furthermore indicate that there is a partial mediating of trust and satisfaction in the relationship between disclosure and loyalty. A pyramid of IBs’ accountabilities from stakeholders’ perspectives shows the importance of Sharia, then financial and social accountability for both stakeholders and non-customers. It moreover shows that the main criterion of stakeholder’s selection of IBs was Sharia, financial then social factors. Stakeholders who deal with IBs are satisfied about the practices of these banks. Both of groups believe that IBs may guide by Sharia, financial then social objectives. The results identifies gap between the orientation of IBs’ board based on the disclosure and orientation of stakeholders and non-customers based on their perceptions towards SSF accountability. The main originality for this study is measuring SSFD for most of Islamic banks around the world from different perspectives and methods as well as identifies the main determinants and consequences of this disclosure. These results have several implications for regulators, policy makers, managers, IBs, investors, FASB and AAOIFI. For instance, the present study has revealed that disclosure of SSFs - especially non-financial ones - was limited in many annual reports as well as websites. Therefore, regulatory bodies may identify a minimum level of SSFs to publish by each IB. The study has crucial implications to how IBs may improve its Sharia compliance disclosures to create a competitive advantage. The present study is one of the first to investigate the determinants and consequences for SSF disclosure for IBs based on a holistic model. Moreover, the current study is one of the first to investigate the non-economic consequences for corporate disclosure. The current study has some limitations, in either sample or data; disclosure indices; approach; or in its research methodology, which have to consider as potential avenues for future research.
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