Provisional international banking statistics, fourth quarter 2008

April 2009

Statistical commentary on provisional locational and consolidated banking statistics at end-December 2008 (PDF, 13 pages, 80 kb)

After a relatively small change in total outstanding stocks in the third quarter, banks' external claims shrank by 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2008 ($1.8 trillion at constant exchange rates), to $ 31 trillion. This was the largest reduction ever recorded in a single quarter. Claims denominated in US dollars and yen were down by 6% and 15%, respectively, and claims vis-à-vis non-banks declined by 8%.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, at current exchange rates, the consolidated international claims of BIS reporting banks on an immediate borrower basis contracted by $2.2 trillion, to $20.5 trillion. On an ultimate risk basis, ie after taking into account net risk transfers related to credit derivatives, guarantees and collateral, banks' exposures dropped by $2.8 trillion. Claims on other banks and on non-bank private sector went down by 1 trillion and $1.7 trillion, respectively. In contrast, the share of the public sector rose from 14% to 16% of total.claims. Brisk activity, predominantly in swaps and interest rate products, as well as large movements in credit derivatives led derivative contracts with positive market value to rise by almost 52%, to $6.5 trillion, vis-à-vis residents of developed economies.

Data for the fourth quarter of 2008 are provisional. Final data, with a detailed analysis of the recent trends, will be published in the forthcoming BIS Quarterly Review to be released on 8 June 2009.