Commentary on provisional international banking statistics, fourth quarter 2005

25 April 2006

The BIS is today releasing provisional data for the end of the fourth quarter of 2005 for both its locational and consolidated banking statistics. Revised data, together with a detailed commentary, will be made available in the next BIS Quarterly Review to be published on 12 June 2006. As most countries have reported their national data for both datasets, little change is expected between the preliminary data released today and the final figures to be published in June.

The locational banking statistics measure aggregate international claims and liabilities of all banks in the 39 reporting countries using balance of payments concepts (Table 1). For this dataset breakdowns are available by sector, instrument and vis-à-vis country. As a currency breakdown is also provided, the BIS can estimate exchange rate adjusted changes.

Worldwide consolidated data are reported on a contractual (immediate borrower) basis by banks' head offices in 30 reporting countries (Table 2). These data exclude banks' cross-border inter-office business contained in the locational data, but include additionally local claims in foreign currency of all their foreign branches and subsidiaries. Twenty-four of these countries provide more detailed information on their domestic banks' claims (exposures) on an ultimate risk basis, including local claims in all currencies. Contingent exposures are also reported (Table 3).

The consolidated data are provided without a currency breakdown, so exchange rate adjusted changes are not available. However, it should be noted that the dollar strenghtened by 2% and 4% against the euro and the yen during the fourth quarter.

Some of the major developments in both statistical datasets are highlighted below. More detailed tables, similar to those in the statistical annex to the BIS Quarterly Review, are provided on the BIS website.