The Interbank Market Puzzle

70 Pages Posted: 18 May 2020

See all articles by Franklin Allen

Franklin Allen

Imperial College London

Giovanni Covi

Bank of England

Xian Gu

Durham University Business School

Oskar Kowalewski

IESEG School of Management; LEM - CNRS 9221

Mattia Montagna

European Central Bank (ECB)

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 15, 2020


This study documents significant differences in the interbank market lending and borrowing levels across countries. We argue that the existing differences in interbank market usage can be explained by the trust of the market participants in the stability of the country’s banking sector and counterparties, proxied by the history of banking crises and failures. Specifically, banks originating from a country that has lower level of trust tend to have lower interbank borrowing. Using a proprietary dataset on bilateral exposures, we investigate the Euro Area interbank network and find the effect of trust relies on the network structure of interbank markets. Core banks acting as interbank intermediaries in the network are more significantly influenced by trust in obtaining interbank funding, while being more exposed in a community can mitigate the negative effect of low trust. Country-level institutional factors might partially substitute for the limited trust and enhance interbank activity.

Keywords: Interbank market, trust, networks, centrality, community detection

JEL Classification: G01, G21, G28

Suggested Citation

Allen, Franklin and Covi, Giovanni and Gu, Xian and Kowalewski, Oskar and Montagna, Mattia, The Interbank Market Puzzle (May 15, 2020). Bank of England Working Paper No. 862, Available at SSRN: or

Franklin Allen

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Giovanni Covi (Contact Author)

Bank of England ( email )

Threadneedle Street
London, EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

Xian Gu

Durham University Business School ( email )

Mill Hill Lane
Durham, DH1 3LB
United Kingdom

Oskar Kowalewski

IESEG School of Management ( email )

1 Parvis de La Défense
Socle de la Grande Arche
Paris La Défense cedex, 92044


LEM - CNRS 9221 ( email )



Mattia Montagna

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314

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