Financial Statements Fraud of Banks and other Financial Institutions in Nigeria
Keywords:Financial Reports, Fraud Detection, Capital Market, Beneish M-Score, Probit Model
Purpose: There is evidence that managers engage in opportunistic practice to manipulate reported performance to attract unsuspecting investors. This paper seeks to detect the likelihood of manipulations on the financial reports of financial service firms (banks and other financial institutions) as well as to identify the financial indicators that are the likely predictors of the probability of manipulations in Nigeria.
Theoretical framework: The M-score models, from Beneish (1999), are employed as theoretical basis for the paper. The model use financial ratios computed using accounting data to confirm the probability that firms’ reported earnings are manipulated.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The study uses data from the Nigerian Exchange Group, from 2010 to 2019 to compute M8/M5-scores and classify firms into likely manipulators and unlikely manipulators. In addition, a probit regression model was applied to establish financial ratios that significantly predict the likelihood of FSF amongst the financial firms.
Findings: The results based on M8 (M5)-score indicate that 26.67% (23.33%) of firms likely manipulate financial books and exhibit the possibility of FSF. In addition, only sales in receivable, sales growth, depreciation expenses, leverage and accruals to assets ratios are found to be (positive) significant predictors of the probability of manipulations.
Research, Practical & Social implications: The implication of the outcome is that subjecting financial statements to empirical and statistical scrutiny should not be ignored because it would detect and reduce associated risks to manipulations. Therefore, more regulatory interventions and empirical auditing of reports are needed to ensure their readability and reliability to the investors.
Originality/Value: The study offers a novel and first evidence, based on Beneish M-score, to scrutinise reports of financial firms in Nigeria. The evidence ensures quality reporting of the financial statements in order to credibility as well as protect the integrity of the capital markets.
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