A longitudinal examination of Anti-corruption disclosure in the banking sector of a least-developed economy: Does board composition make a difference?

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Purpose: This study focuses on anti-corruption disclosure (ACD) as a critical indicator of a bank’s commitment to combat corruption. It seeks to measure the level of ACD in banking companies. Emphasizing the pivotal role of board directors in ensuring corporate accountability and transparency, the study further explores the connection between board composition and ACD. Design/methodology/approach: This study adopts automated content analysis (using keyword search) to measure the level of ACD in the annual reports of listed banks in Bangladesh. Drawing upon agency theory and resource-dependence theory, the study proposes that the collective monitoring and resources facilitated by a well-structured board (size, gender diversity and independence) significantly influence a bank’s commitment to combat corruption. The paper employs linear regression to examine the hypotheses. The reliability of the findings is further validated through the application of the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) and Quantile Regression. Findings: The results indicate a steady rise in ACD over the sample period (2014–2022). The analysis establishes that larger board sizes and a greater presence of female directors are positively associated with ACD. Notably, the study identifies a critical mass of at least three female directors for a significant positive relationship between gender diversity on the board and ACD. However, no significant relationship is observed between board independence and ACD. Practical implications: The study sheds light on the current state of ACD within the banking companies of a least-developed country. The findings carry significant implications for regulators to gauge banks' dedication to anti-corruption efforts and make informed decisions on issuing guidance for enhanced ACD. These findings can also assist regulators in assessing the implications of board composition and formulating guidelines within the corporate governance code. Originality/value: This study contributes to the literature on ACD in the context of a least-developed economy. Notably, the study fills a research gap by exploring ACD in the banking industry. A key aspect of this study is its exploration of the determinants of ACD, explicitly emphasizing how board composition is likely to influence ACD.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalAsian Review of Accounting
Early online date10 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 May 2024

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