Global Banks’ Dollar Funding: A Source of Financial Vulnerability
Leading up to the global financial crisis, US dollar activity by global banks headquartered outside the United States played a crucial role in transmitting shocks originating in funding markets. Although post-crisis regulation has improved banking systems’ resilience, US dollar funding remains a global vulnerability, as evidenced by strains that reemerged in March 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. We show that shocks to US dollar funding costs lead to financial stress in the home economies of these global non-US banks, and to spillovers to borrowers, especially emerging economies. US dollar funding vulnerability amplifies these negative effects, while some policy-related factors act as mitigators, such as swap line arrangements between central banks and international reserve holdings. Thus, these vulnerabilities should be monitored and, to the extent possible, controlled.
IMF Working Papers