We investigate the relation between political risk and the volatility of Islamic and conventional banks’ assets. Using an international sample of 34,452 and 1245 bank-year observations of conventional and Islamic banks respectively over the period 1999–2013, we show that conventional banks are more exposed to political risk compared to Islamic banks. Our results are robust to the use of different country-specific factors, sub-sample analysis, alternative measures of asset quality and bank profitability.