Highlights of the BIS international statistics

BIS Quarterly Review  |  September 2012  | 
17 September 2012

During the first quarter of 2012, the cross-border claims of BIS reporting banks expanded slightly, after a sharp fall in the previous quarter. Despite this increase, cross-border lending remained significantly below the levels recorded before the global financial crisis intensified in 2008. The latest expansion of cross-border claims was mainly driven by growth in lending to non-banks, which recorded the largest amount since early 2011. Cross-border interbank lending stabilised after the severe contraction in the previous quarter. Lending to banks in the euro area rose by the largest amount in four years, albeit with considerable differences across countries.

Cross-border lending to residents of developed countries expanded slightly ($50 billion or 0.2%). Claims on the euro area and Japan increased by $104 billion (1.2%) and $84 billion (9.3%), respectively, driven almost completely by growth in interbank lending. In contrast, claims on residents of the United States and Switzerland contracted by $101 billion (1.9%) and $51 billion (7.8%), respectively, again largely reflecting changes in crossborder interbank activity.

BIS reporting banks' cross-border claims on most emerging market borrowers increased. The overall growth of $86 billion (2.8%) in lending to residents of emerging markets was split roughly evenly between rises in claims on banks ($41 billion or 2.5%) and non-banks ($45 billion or 3.1%). Credit to Asia-Pacific in general and China in particular drove the expansion. Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa and the Middle East registered smaller increases. Only cross-border credit to emerging Europe continued to fall.