Total credit as an early warning indicator for systemic banking crises

3 June 2013

Credit-to-GDP gaps are valuable early warning indicators for systemic banking crises. As such, they are useful for identifying vulnerabilities and can help guide the deployment of macroprudential tools such as the build-up of countercyclical capital buffers. In line with Basel III recommendations, credit-to-GDP gaps can be further improved by taking account of all sources of credit to the private non-financial sector, rather than just bank credit. Drawing on a new BIS database, this special feature finds that total credit developments predict the risk of systemic crises better than indicators based solely on bank credit.

JEL classification: E44, G01