How did the crisis in international funding markets affect bank lending? Balance sheet evidence from the United Kingdom

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 05 April 2011

Working Paper No. 424
By Shekhar Aiyar

Evidence abounds on the propagation of financial stresses originating in the US mortgage market to banking systems worldwide through international funding markets. But the transmission of this external funding shock to the real economy via bank lending is surprisingly underexamined, given the central importance ascribed to this channel of contagion by policymakers. This paper provides evidence of this transmission for the UK-resident banking system, the largest in the world by asset size. It uses a novel data set, created from detailed and confidential balance sheet data reported by individual banks quarterly to the Bank of England. I find that the shock to foreign funding caused a substantial pullback in domestic lending. The results are derived using a range of instruments to correct for endogeneity and omitted variable bias. Foreign subsidiaries and branches reduced lending by a larger amount than domestically owned banks, while the latter calibrated the reduction in domestic lending more closely to the size of the funding shock.

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