Foreign bank lending has stopped growing since the global financial crisis. Changes in
banks’ business models, balance-sheet adjustments, as well as the tightening of banking
regulations are potential drivers of this prolonged slowdown. The existing literature
however suggests an opposite effect related to regulation, with tighter regulations
encouraging foreign lending through regulatory arbitrage. We investigate this question
using new survey data on regulations specific to banks’ international operations. Our
results show that regulatory tightening can explain about half of the decline in the foreign
lending-to-GDP ratio between 2007 and 2013. Regulatory changes in home countries have
had a larger effect than those in host countries.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note discusses results of Banking Sector Stress Testing for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The stress tests focused on the banking system and covered all 27 banks operating in BiH. System-wide solvency and liquidity indicators appear broadly appropriate, but significant pockets of vulnerability remain. On the basis of the supervisory data used, stress tests suggest that aggregate stress losses, mainly related to increased provisions in the loan book, although non-negligible, remain broadly manageable. Similarly, system-wide liquidity ratios appear broadly adequate. Nevertheless, there are several banks within the system—mainly small domestically owned banks—with a wide range of significant vulnerabilities. These include, low liquidity ratios, large concentration risks, and round-trip cross-border exposures.
This Selected Issues paper presents a comparison on public expenditure of Austria and other countries. In the past decade, Austria’s government expenditure growth has been very steady, thus avoiding the boom–bust pattern of some other European countries. However, expenditure levels are relatively high, and the difference with Germany has been widening. Compared with other countries, spending is particularly high for pensions, capital transfers and subsidies, including in the transport sector. According to economic classification, the composition of expenditure in the main categories has been more stable. Social benefits and transfers in kind, increasing by 0.7 percentage points between 2002 and 2012, have remained the highest component by far. Nevertheless, expenditure levels in Austria are relatively high, and the difference with Germany has been widening. A cross-country analysis of public spending by different type of categories shows several areas where spending stands out.
The most recent decade has seen a growing presence of banks headquartered in advanced economies (AEs) expanding into emerging markets (EMs). These expansions have brought some benefits to both home and host countries, but the global financial crisis has also unmasked significant vulnerabilities inherent in such relationships.
In keeping with past cross-cutting themes papers, this paper focuses on the experiences of four medium-sized ?home countries,? each with significant retail banking links to EMs—Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. These countries were chosen because of their banks' diverse approaches to EM expansion (including the centralization of their funding models) and equally diverse crisis outcomes (fears over Eastern European exposures resulted in extraordinary policy efforts to maintain bank lending), providing fertile ground for analysis and for drawing lessons in the future.
Mr. Eugenio M Cerutti, Mr. Patrick M. McGuire, and Mr. Stijn Claessens
The recent financial crisis has shown how interconnected the financial world has become. Shocks in one location or asset class can have a sizable impact on the stability of institutions and markets around the world. But systemic risk analysis is severely hampered by the lack of consistent data that capture the international dimensions of finance. While currently available data can be used more effectively, supervisors and other agencies need more and better data to construct even rudimentary measures of risks in the international financial system. Similarly, market participants need better information on aggregate positions and linkages to appropriately monitor and price risks. Ongoing initiatives that will help in closing data gaps include the G20 Data Gaps Initiative, which recommends the collection of consistent bank-level data for joint analyses and enhancements to existing sets of aggregate statistics, and the enhancement to the BIS international banking statistics.
This paper investigates the degree of bank competition in the euro area, the U.S. and U.K. before and after the recent financial crisis, and revisits the issue whether the introduction of EMU and the euro have had any impact on bank competition. The results suggest that the level of bank competition converged across euro area countries in the wake of the EMU. The recent global financial crisis led to a fall in competition in several countries and especially where large credit and housing booms had preceded the crisis..
The aim of this paper is to construct a comprehensive and consistent dataset to analyze the potential risks from foreign bank lending, for both the creditor and borrower countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CESE). We develop a picture of bank claims on 13 CESE countries by combining credit statistics from several sources. Our constructed data suggest that some of these host countries have become more at risk from a sudden withdrawal of short-term external funding, while home countries have significant aggregate exposures to the region. Overall, we find that data on banking activity remain largely inadequate for surveillance and policymaking purposes, and that a concerted effort to improve data collection is needed at the international level.
The recent financial crisis raises important issues about the transmission of financial shocks across borders. In this paper, a global vector autoregressive (GVAR) model is constructed to assess the relevance of international spillovers following a historical slowdown in U.S. equity prices. The GVAR model contains 27 country-specific models, including the United States, 17 European advanced economies, and 9 European emerging economies. Each country model is linked to the others by a set of country-specific foreign variables, computed using bilateral bank lending exposures. Results reveal considerable comovements of equity prices across mature financial markets. However, the effects on credit growth are found to be country-specific. Evidence indicates that asset prices are the main channel through which-in the short run-financial shocks are transmitted internationally, while the contribution of other variables-like the cost and quantity of credit-becomes more important over longer horizons.
Recent developments have increased questions about vulnerabilities in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEE) that are experiencing credit booms. This paper analyzes the role of foreign-owned banks in these credit booms. The results show that the CEE countries depend on foreign banks, and these foreign banks depend on interbank funding. Lending by foreign banks seems driven by economic growth and interest rate margins. This lending appears independent of economic but not financial conditions in the foreign bank's home country.
The Swiss banking system is characterized by a two-tier structure. The first tier is composed of the two large banks and some smaller banks focused on private banking, all of which have a significant international presence. These banks represent, so to speak, the “international face” of the Swiss banks. They are mostly joint-stock companies or privately owned (unlimited personal liability). The second tier is composed of a varied group of banks, mostly focused on domestic, or even regional, business.