International banking has been an important driver of financial globalisation and integration, thus contributing to welfare gains over time and across countries. During the recent crisis, however, the plight of many internationally active banks epitomised the fragility of the financial system. This underscored the importance of a proper understanding of the drivers and effects of cross-border intermediation.
This report - prepared by a Study Group chaired by Hans-Helmut Kotz, formerly of the German Bundesbank - documents general trends in the historical evolution of international banking, discusses various drivers of this evolution and examines the impact of international banking on financial stability and the macroeconomy. It also analyses possible future developments in cross-border intermediation, paying particular attention to the interplay between market- and bank-based activities.