The BIS consolidated international banking statistics - fourth quarter 2000

7 May 2001

Press release

Upturn in banks' consolidated claims on Europe in the fourth quarter of 2000

International consolidated bank claims stood at $7,859 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2000. This amounted to an increase of $245 billion, after adjusting for claims reported by three countries newly participating in the BIS consolidated banking statistics (Singapore, Taiwan and Turkey), other statistical breaks and exchange rate movements.

On the borrower side, developed countries slightly increased their share of international bank claims relative to offshore centres and developing countries. Claims on developed countries rose by $220 billion (on an adjusted basis), while positions on offshore centres expanded by $16 billion and those on developing countries by $5 billion. Among developing countries, those in Europe more than accounted for the increase, while borrowers in Asia continued to reduce their liabilities to international banks.

On the lending side, German and Japanese banks were the most active in the quarter, each group accounting for about one third of the adjusted increase in consolidated international claims. At the same time, international banks also extended their activity in local financial systems by purchasing local banks and providing larger amounts of locally funded credit in local currency. This local currency lending expanded by $155 billion during the quarter. Banks from the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany contributed most to the expansion in these positions, which amounted to $2,959 billion at the end of last year.

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