Overseas bankers in the UK and their use of information for making lending decisions: changes from 1985

Aidan Berry, Jenny Robertson

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Abstract This paper is concerned with the information used by one set of users, namely bankers, and the changes in their usage of information over time. The work replicates and revisits the work of Berry, A., Citron, D., Jarvis, R., 1985. Foreign banks operating in the UK—their information requirements, usage and suggested improvements to financial reporting, implications for the accounting profession. European Accounting Association Conference, Brussels. The population surveyed was drawn from the same source as that used for the earlier study although, as might be expected in a dynamic environment, the individual bankers making up that population were not identical. The results show that accounting information, as a whole, remains a very important source of information informing the bankers' decision-making processes but that the relative importance and usage of the components has changed. Some of these changes are positive in that they suggest that there have been improvements to the information content provided, for example in contrast to the findings of Bartlett, S.A., Chandler, R.A., 1997. The Corporate Report and the private shareholder: Lee and Tweedie twenty years on. British Accounting Review 29, 245–261, the cash flow statement is seen as more important than the profit and loss account or balance sheet. Other changes are perhaps of more concern to accounting standard setters as the results represent a decrease in the perceived importance of key components of financial statements, for example, the audit report and the statement of accounting policies. This supports the earlier findings of Bartlett and Chandler (1997) in respect of the audit report. There is also evidence to suggest that the mix and type of information these bankers are now using has changed since 1985. This may indicate a move toward a greater use of a going concern approach to lending decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-191
Number of pages17
JournalBritish accounting review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Banks
  • Users
  • Financial reporting
  • Standards


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