The objective of the study was to predict the future performance of banks based on the contextual information provided in annual reports. The European Central Bank has observed that performance prediction models in earlier studies mainly rely on quantitative financial data, which are insufficient for the comprehensive assessment of banks’ performance. There is a need to incorporate the qualitative information along with numerical data for better prediction. In this context, this study employed the attribution theory for understanding the contextual information of behavioral biases of management towards the expected outcomes. The sample consisted of 58 banks of 16 emerging economies, and the period covered from 2007–2015. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering was performed to identify the latent groups of banks within the data. For performance prediction, system GMM was employed, because it helped to deal with the endogeneity and heterogeneity problems. The results of the study were consistent with the attribution theory that management took credit for favorable expected outcomes and distanced from bad outcomes. An important policy implication of the study is that the prevalence of self-attribution bias of management in annual reports provides an additional source of information for the regulators to identify the banks at risks and take preventive measures to avoid the expected cost of failure. It can also help investors, and gives analysts a better tool for a comprehensive analysis of the profitability of prospective investments.
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