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Financial interlinkages in the United Kingdom's interbank market and the risk of contagion

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  • Simon Wells
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    Abstract

    A well functioning interbank market is essential for efficient financial intermediation. But interbank exposures imply the possibility of direct contagion: the insolvency of a single institution may trigger multiple bank failures due to direct credit exposures. The complete network of interbank exposures that gives rise to this channel of contagion is not observable, making it difficult to assess the systemic risk it poses. This paper uses data on loans and deposits between UK-resident banks to estimate the distribution of bilateral exposures. The potential for contagion is examined by assuming the sudden failure of each individual bank and estimating the losses incurred to other banks as a result of the initial shock. This study suggests that, while a single bank failure is rarely sufficient to trigger the outright failure of other banks, it does have the potential to weaken substantially the capital holdings of the banking system. And, when the failure of a single bank does result in knock-on effects, their severity depends greatly on the maintained assumptions about the distribution of interbank loans and the level of loss given default. But data constraints mean that drawing definitive conclusions is difficult.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 230.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:230

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    References

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    1. Helmut Elsinger & Alfred Lehar & Martin Summer, 2002. "Risk Assessment for Banking Systems," Working Papers 79, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    2. Upper, Christian & Worms, Andreas, 2004. "Estimating bilateral exposures in the German interbank market: Is there a danger of contagion?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 827-849, August.
    3. George Sheldon & Martin Maurer, 1998. "Interbank Lending and Systemic Risk: An Empirical Analysis for Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 134(IV), pages 685-704, December.
    4. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1998. "Financial Contagion Journal of Political Economy," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-31, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    5. Gorton, Gary, 1988. "Banking Panics and Business Cycles," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(4), pages 751-81, December.
    6. C. H. Furfine, 1999. "Interbank exposures: quantifying the risk of contagion," BIS Working Papers 70, Bank for International Settlements.
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    Cited by:
    1. Trapp, Monika & Wewel, Claudio, 2013. "Transatlantic systemic risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4241-4255.
    2. Iman van Lelyveld & Franka Liedorp, 2004. "Interbank Contagion in the Dutch Banking Sector," DNB Working Papers 005, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Iman van Lelyveld & Franka Liedorp, 2006. "Interbank Contagion in the Dutch Banking Sector: A Sensitivity Analysis," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(2), May.
    4. John P Jackson & Mark J Manning, 2007. "Comparing the pre-settlement risk implications of alternative clearing arrangements," Bank of England working papers 321, Bank of England.
    5. Edson Bastos e Santos & Rama Cont, 2010. "The Brazilian Interbank Network Structure and Systemic Risk," Working Papers Series 219, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
    6. Brown, Martin & Trautmann, Stefan T. & Vlahu, Razvan, 2012. "Contagious Bank Runs: Experimental Evidence," Working Papers on Finance 1207, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    7. Helmut Elsinger & Alfred Lehar & Martin Summer, 2006. "Using Market Information for Banking System Risk Assessment," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(1), March.
    8. Xavier Freixas & Bruno Maria Parigi, 2008. "Lender of Last Resort and Bank Closure Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2286, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Leonidov, A. & Rumyantsev, E., 2013. "Russian Interbank Systemic Risks Assessment from the Network Topology Point of View," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 65-80.
    10. Toivanen, Mervi, 2013. "Contagion in the interbank network: An epidemiological approach," Research Discussion Papers 19/2013, Bank of Finland.
    11. Oliver Kley & Claudia Kl\"uppelberg & Lukas Reichel, 2014. "Systemic risk through contagion in a core-periphery structured banking network," Papers 1406.6575, arXiv.org.
    12. Nuno Silva, 2010. "Inter-Sector Relations in the Portuguese Economy: an Application of Contingent," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    13. Upper, Christian, 2011. "Simulation methods to assess the danger of contagion in interbank markets," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 111-125, August.
    14. Tomáš Klinger & Petr Teplý, 2014. "Systemic Risk of the Global Banking System - An Agent-Based Network Model Approach," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2014(1), pages 24-41.

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