International financial markets and bank funding in the euro area: dynamics and participants

February 2013

(originally published in Spanish in the journal "Economistas", in December 2012)

This article investigates the development of bank funding in the euro area in recent years, analysing how euro area funding markets were severely disrupted by adverse feedback effects between the weaknesses of sovereigns and banks. These were reflected, for example, in important adjustments in funding provided by international banks and US money market funds and in a growing recourse to secured instruments such as covered bonds. The article concludes that funding structures that seem stable in normal times can turn highly unstable during episodes of financial market stress. This applies in particular to financing obtained from foreign sources, which may be especially sensitive to shocks in recipient countries. Moreover, the strong link between sovereigns and banks has underscored the importance of fiscal prudence and, in the European case, the need for greater financial integration in the euro area.