About international banking statistics

These statistics cover the balance sheets of internationally active banks. The locational statistics provide information about the geographical and currency composition of banks' assets and liabilities, including intragroup business. The consolidated statistics measure banks' country risk exposures on a worldwide consolidated basis. Both data sets are collected under the auspices of the Committee on the Global Financial System and reported to the BIS at a country, rather than individual bank, level.

Which banks are the largest creditors to a particular country?

Find out how much credit banks of a given nationality have extended to borrowers in more than 200 countries, using the BIS consolidated banking statistics.

Which banks are the largest creditors to a particular country? (2:24)

November 2016 / Bank for International Settlements

About our data sets

The locational banking statistics (LBS) measure international banking activity from a residence perspective, focusing on the location of the banking office. 

They are compiled following principles that are consistent with balance of payments statistics. The LBS capture outstanding claims (financial assets) and liabilities of internationally active banks located in reporting countries on counterparties residing in more than 200 countries. Banks record their positions on an unconsolidated basis, including intragroup positions between offices of the same banking group. The LBS capture around 95% of all cross-border banking activity. The availability of a currency breakdown in the LBS, coupled with the reporting of breaks arising from changes in methodology, reporting practices or reporting population, enables the BIS to calculate break- and exchange rate-adjusted changes in amounts outstanding. Such adjusted changes approximate underlying flows during a quarter.

The consolidated banking statistics (CBS) measure international banking activity from a nationality perspective, focusing on the country where the banking group's parent is headquartered. 

While residence-based data such as the locational banking statistics indicate where positions are booked, they do not always identify where underlying decisions are made. This is because banking offices in one country may operate within a business model decided by the group's controlling parent, which may be headquartered in another country. The CBS capture the worldwide claims of banking groups based in reporting countries and exclude intragroup positions, similar to the consolidation approach followed by banking supervisors. The CBS provide several different measures of banking groups' country risk exposures, on either an immediate counterparty or a guarantor basis. The most appropriate exposure measure depends on the issue being analysed. The benchmark measure in the CBS is foreign claims, which capture credit to borrowers outside a banking group's home country.