The currency dimension of the bank lending channel in international monetary transmission

BIS Working Papers No 600
December 2016

We investigate how the use of a currency transmits monetary policy shocks in the global banking system. We use newly available unique data on the bilateral crossborder lending flows of 27 BIS-reporting lending banking systems to over 50 borrowing countries, broken down by currency denomination (USD, EUR and JPY). We have three main findings. First, monetary shocks in a currency significantly affect cross-border lending flows in that currency, even when neither the lending banking system nor the borrowing country uses that currency as their own. Second, this transmission works mainly through lending to non-banks. Third, this currency dimension of the bank lending channel works similarly across the three currencies suggesting that the cross-border bank lending channel of liquidity shock transmission may not be unique to lending in USD.

JEL classification: E5, F42, G21

Keywords: Cross-border bank lending, bank lending channel, monetary transmission, currency denomination