BIS Quarterly Review, June 2019

The June issue contains only information related to BIS statistics, notably the BIS Statistical Bulletin; relevant material on financial developments will be included in the Annual Economic Report 2019, to be published on 30 June 2019.

BIS Quarterly Review  | 
04 June 2019
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As of June 2019, the Quarterly Review is available in English only. However, the Press Release and press remarks that accompany the March, September and December issues will continue to be translated as usual.

International banking and financial market developments

Cross-border bank credit is dominated by a small number of very sizeable links between banks in one country and borrowers in another. The largest-sized cross-border banking links are mainly between major advanced economies. Concentration increased up until the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) and has abated only slightly since. It is higher for interbank credit than for credit to the non-bank sector. Despite the substantial decline in interbank credit in the aftermath of the GFC, concentration in the interbank segment has remained high. ...

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The BIS international banking statistics (IBS) are collected by national authorities at the bank level but reported to the BIS at the country level; all banks in a given reporting country are aggregated together. Therefore, the IBS measure country-to-country links but do not measure the much larger number of bilateral links between individual banks and borrowers. At end-2018, the locational banking statistics (LBS) captured the positions of more than 8,000 banks, reported as 47 country aggregates. Banks reported their positions against borrowers in more than 215 countries, resulting in 5,927 country-to-country links. Many of these links are for insignificant amounts of less than $0.5 million. Excluding these small links results in 4,822 links greater than $0.5 million. ...
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While small links - smaller than $100 million in size - account for a minor share of the total volume of cross-border credit, they account for a significant share of credit to borrowers in many emerging market economies (EMEs). For example, cross-border credit to borrowers in Gambia and Sierra Leone is entirely through small links (Graph B1). But small links are not equally important for all EMEs. For the largest, such as Brazil and China, small links are negligible. ...
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