A dynamic network model of the unsecured interbank lending market

BIS Working Papers No 491
February 2015

We introduce a structural dynamic network model of the formation of lending relationships in the unsecured interbank market. Banks are subject to random liquidity shocks and can form links with potential trading partners to bilaterally Nash bargain about loan conditions. To reduce credit risk uncertainty, banks can engage in costly peer monitoring of counterparties. We estimate the structural model parameters by indirect inference using network statistics of the Dutch interbank market from 2008 to 2011. The estimated model accurately explains the high sparsity and stability of the lending network. In particular, peer monitoring and credit risk uncertainty are key factors in the formation of stable interbank lending relationships that are associated with improved credit conditions. Moreover, the estimated degree distribution of the lending network is highly skewed with a few very interconnected core banks and many peripheral banks that trade mainly with core banks. Shocks to credit risk uncertainty can lead to extended periods of low market activity, amplified by a reduction in peer monitoring. Finally, our monetary policy analysis shows that a wider interest rate corridor leads to a more active market through a direct effect on the outside options and an indirect multiplier effect by increasing banks' monitoring and search efforts.

JEL classification: C33, C51, E52, G01, G21

Keywords: Interbank liquidity, financial networks, credit risk uncertainty, peer monitoring, monetary policy, trading relationships, indirect parameter estimation