Dollar Funding and the Lending Behavior of Global Banks
51 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2013 Last revised: 11 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 10, 2015
A large share of dollar-denominated lending is done by non-U.S. banks, particularly European banks. We present a model in which such banks cut dollar lending more than euro lending in response to a shock to their credit quality. Because these banks rely on wholesale dollar funding, while raising more of their euro funding through insured retail deposits, the shock leads to a greater withdrawal of dollar funding. Banks can borrow in euros and swap into dollars to make up for the dollar shortfall, but this may lead to violations of covered interest parity (CIP) when there is limited capital to take the other side of the swap trade. In this case, synthetic dollar borrowing also becomes expensive, which causes cuts in dollar lending. We test the model in the context of the Eurozone sovereign crisis, which escalated in the second half of 2011 and resulted in U.S. money-market funds sharply reducing their exposure to European banks in the year that followed. During this period dollar lending by Eurozone banks fell relative to their euro lending, and firms who were more reliant on Eurozone banks before the Eurozone crisis had a more difficult time borrowing.
Keywords: Covered Interest Parity; Dollar Funding; Credit Supply; Global Banks
JEL Classification: E44, F36, G01
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation