The structure of credit to the non-goverment sector and the transmission mechanism of monetary policy: a cross-country comparison

BIS Working Papers No 24
April 1995

This paper provides a unique comparative overview of the structure of credit to the non-government sector in 14 industrialised countries and of its evolution over time with a view to casting new light on the implications for the transmission mechanism of monetary policy. The analysis draws on the central bank responses to a detailed questionnaire and other available information. Characteristics covered include, inter alia, breakdowns of credit in terms of instrument, maturity, the adjustability of contractual interest rates, collateral and the degree of control over the amounts of credit granted. The paper identifies similarities and differences across countries and offers conjectures about their influence on the relative importance of the channels through which monetary policy affects economy activity. The paper is part of a broader BIS cross-country study on the impact of financial structure on the transmission mechanism.