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Total credit as an early warning indicator for systemic banking crises


  • Mathias Drehmann


Credit-to-GDP gaps are valuable early warning indicators for systemic banking crises. As such, they are useful for identifying vulnerabilities and can help guide the deployment of macroprudential tools such as the build-up of countercyclical capital buffers. In line with Basel III recommendations, credit-to-GDP gaps can be further improved by taking account of all sources of credit to the private non-financial sector, rather than just bank credit. Drawing on a new BIS database, this special feature finds that total credit developments predict the risk of systemic crises better than indicators based solely on bank credit.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathias Drehmann, 2013. "Total credit as an early warning indicator for systemic banking crises," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:bisqtr:1306f

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    2. Stefan Avdjiev & Robert McCauley & Patrick McGuire, 2012. "Rapid credit growth and international credit: Challenges for Asia," BIS Working Papers 377, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Rochelle M. Edge & Ralf R. Meisenzahl, 2011. "The Unreliability of Credit-to-GDP Ratio Gaps in Real Time: Implications for Countercyclical Capital Buffers," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(4), pages 261-298, December.
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    8. Christian Dembiermont & Mathias Drehmann & Siriporn Muksakunratana, 2013. "How much does the private sector really borrow - a new database for total credit to the private non-financial sector," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    9. Rochelle M. Edge & Ralf R. Meisenzahl, 2011. "The unreliability of credit-to-GDP ratio gaps in real-time: Implications for countercyclical capital buffers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-37, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Mathias Drehmann & Claudio Borio & Kostas Tsatsaronis, 2011. "Anchoring Countercyclical Capital Buffers: The role of Credit Aggregates," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(4), pages 189-240, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan M. Taylor, 2015. "Credit, Financial Stability, and the Macroeconomy," NBER Working Papers 21039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Saurabh Ghosh, "undated". "Building on the Countercyclical Consensus: An Empirical Test," Working Papers wp08, South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre.
    3. Mathias Drehmann & Kostas Tsatsaronis, 2014. "The credit-to-GDP gap and countercyclical capital buffers: questions and answers," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
    4. Dr. Michael Sigmund & Dr. Ingrid Stein, 2017. "What predicts Financial (In)Stability? A Bayesian Approach," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 50(3), pages 299-336.
    5. Filardo, Andrew & Genberg, Hans & Hofmann, Boris, 2016. "Monetary analysis and the global financial cycle: An Asian central bank perspective," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-16.
    6. Carlos A. Carrasco & Felipe Serrano, 2014. "Global and European Imbalances:A critical review," Working papers wpaper42, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    7. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Mohamad Husam Helmi, 2016. "Islamic Banking, Credit and Economic Growth: Some Empirical Evidence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1541, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. repec:eee:finsta:v:29:y:2017:i:c:p:106-116 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Michael Brei & Leonardo Gambacorta, 2014. "The leverage ratio over the cycle," BIS Working Papers 471, Bank for International Settlements.
    10. repec:wsi:jicepx:v:08:y:2017:i:01:n:s179399331750003x is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Leonardo Gambacorta & Sudipto Karmakar, 2016. "Leverage and risk weighted capital requirements," BIS Working Papers 586, Bank for International Settlements.
    12. Kim, Soyoung & Mehrotra, Aaron, 2017. "Effects of monetary and macro-prudential policies – evidence from inflation targeting economies in the Asia-Pacific region and potential implications for China," BOFIT Discussion Papers 4/2017, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    13. Soyoung Kim & Aaron Mehrotra, 2015. "Managing price and financial stability objectives - what can we learn from the Asia-Pacific region?," BIS Working Papers 533, Bank for International Settlements.
    14. Franziska Ohnsorge & Shu Yu, 2017. "Recent Credit Surge in Historical Context," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 8(01), pages 1-22, February.
    15. Dudek, Jérémy, 2013. "Illiquidité, contagion et risque systémique," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/13236 edited by Le Fol, Gaëlle, April.
    16. Sarlin, Peter & Ramsay, Bruce A., 2015. "Ending over-lending: assessing systemic risk with debt to cash flow," Working Paper Series 1769, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises


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