Highlights of the BIS international statistics

BIS Quarterly Review  |  March 2012  | 
12 March 2012

The aggregate cross-border claims of BIS reporting banks expanded slightly during the third quarter of 2011. The overall rise was exclusively caused by an increase in interbank claims. By contrast, claims on non-banks recorded their largest decline since the fourth quarter of 2009.

Despite the overall increase in cross-border claims during the period, there were several notable signs of a slowdown in international banking activity. First, cross-border lending to non-banks in all major developed economies with the exception of Japan contracted or remained virtually unchanged. Second, internationally active banks reported sharp reductions in their foreign claims on residents of the euro area economies experiencing fiscal difficulties. And last but not least, cross-border claims on emerging market economies declined for the first time in 10 quarters. Internationally active banks reduced lending to the residents of emerging Europe and Africa and the Middle East. The growth rates of cross-border claims on Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean did remain positive; nevertheless, they fell considerably relative to those observed during the preceding two years.