Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, France, and Belgium have deficits.
For political reasons, if Italy or Greece decide to leave the EMU, then they are supposed to settle their debts. But they can not do that. Other countries in EMU will have to bear the burden of unpaid debts of leaving countries.
There are many lessens for other regions around the world who are contemplating monetary unions. AMU in ASEAN region is one such example. They should carefully learn from experiences of EMU as how not to do things.
From Money & Credit: Eurozone TARGET2
From Germany TARGET2 – Balance
TARGET2 is a payment system that enables the speedy and final settlement of national and cross-border payments in central bank money. An average of around 350,000 payments with a value of just under €2½ trillion are processed using TARGET2 each working day, a figure which is broadly equivalent to the size of Germany’s GDP. During a whole year, TARGET2 settles about 90 million payments with a value of about € 600,000 billion. These payment transactions can take a wide variety of forms, such as payment for a goods delivery, the purchase or sale of a security, the granting or repayment of a loan or the depositing of funds at a bank, among many others.
In addition to payments between credit institutions and from other systems (eg securities settlement systems), payments undertaken as part of the Eurosystem’s open market operations are settled via TARGET2.
If, for example, foreign funds are transferred to a bank that participates in TARGET2 via the Bundesbank, this results in a liability of the Bundesbank to this bank (such as in the form of a credit to this amount on the bank‘s current account). In return, the transaction generates a Bundesbank claim for the same sum on the sending central bank. This central bank then in turn debits the account of the originating commercial bank. This requires the originating commercial bank to have a sufficient credit balance in central bank money. Central bank credit balances are primarily provided by the Eurosystem’s monetary policy refinancing operations.
The resulting claims and liabilities generated at the national central banks by the multiple transactions over the course of a day normally do not fully balance out. Under the terms of a Eurosystem agreement, the outstanding claims and liabilities of all the national central banks participating inTARGET2 are transferred to the ECB at the end of the business day, where they are netted out. The resulting TARGET2 (net) balances hence arise from the cross-border distribution of central bank money within the Eurosystem’s decentralized structure.
The TARGET2 balance in the Bundesbank’s balance sheet is therefore mainly attributable to cross-border transactions which involve banks that participate in TARGET2 via the Bundesbank (several banks from other EU countries participate in TARGET2 via the Bundesbank in cases where their own national central banks do not participate in TARGET2). On the one hand, it is affected by credit institutions’ operations on the money and capital markets and, on the other, by transactions carried out by the non-banking sector, which generates payments via the banking system.
From TARGET2 balances
From Interpreting TARGET2 balances
The existence of a substantial German claim on the Eurosystem is well known. As shown in Graph 1, since the beginning of the financial crisis in August 2007, claims of the Deutsche Bundesbank on the Eurosystem through the TARGET2 system have gone from basically zero to more than €700 billion.1 This has led to a debate over what this accumulation means and what, if anything, should be done about it.
Interpretations of this and other TARGET2 balances fall into two camps. The first, judged a minority view by Auer (2012), is that these balances correspond to current account financing. We label this the flow interpretation. Proponents have included most prominently Sinn and Wollmershäuser (2012), whose views originally appeared as a working paper a year ago (Sinn and Wollmershäuser (2011)).2 Fahrholz and Freytag (2012) take the view that the current account imbalance will create persistent TARGET2 balances.
The second camp, including Buiter et al (2011), Mody and Bornhorst (2012), Bindseil and König (2012), and3 Cecioni and Ferrero (2012) interprets TARGET2 balances as a “capital account reversal”. That is, they see this as one symptom of a balance of payments crisis. Bindseil and König (2012) argue that the Eurosystem full allotment refinancing operations should be seen as financing the reversal of an outstanding stock of cross-border claims while the TARGET2 payments system merely records the results. We label this the stock interpretation, and trace it originally to Garber (1999).
The members of the European Economic Advisory Group (2012) take an intermediate position. They read Sinn and Wollmershäuser (2011) as arguing that Greece and Portugal financed their current account deficits in 2008 to 2010 through TARGET2, while Ireland’s TARGET2 balance was associated with a capital outflow and Spain’s TARGET2 balance financed only a quarter of its cumulated current account. Italy is identified as a case of “capital flight” in late 2011. More formally, Auer (2012) uses panel regressions to find that the TARGET2 balances track both current accounts and bank flows from Q3 2007 to Q1 2012.
Our work is most closely related to that of Auer (2012).4 Like him, we juxtapose TARGET2 balances with both current account and capital flow data, using BIS banking data. The new element in our work is that we distinguish between capital flows motivated by concerns over creditworthiness and those motivated by the low probability of redenomination.
People and Businesses are using internet and other data and communications technologies in variety of ways. Some are listed below.
Online Markets (Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba)
Governments and Trade organizations are catching up to these trends. Several research reports have been published recently. Trade agreements are being negotiated which include means to reduce barriers to digital trade.
From DIGITAL GLOBALIZATION: THE NEW ERA OF GLOBAL FLOWS
Conventional wisdom says that globalization has stalled. But although the global goods trade has flattened and cross-border capital flows have declined sharply since 2008, globalization is not heading into reverse. Rather, it is entering a new phase defined by soaring flows of data and information.
Remarkably, digital flows—which were practically nonexistent just 15 years ago—now exert a larger impact on GDP growth than the centuries-old trade in goods, according to a new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, Digital globalization: The new era of global flows. And although this shift makes it possible for companies to reach international markets with less capital-intensive business models, it poses new risks and policy challenges as well.
The world is more connected than ever, but the nature of its connections has changed in a fundamental way. The amount of cross-border bandwidth that is used has grown 45 times larger since 2005. It is projected to increase by an additional nine times over the next five years as flows of information, searches, communication, video, transactions, and intracompany traffic continue to surge. In addition to transmitting valuable streams of information and ideas in their own right, data flows enable the movement of goods, services, finance, and people. Virtually every type of cross-border transaction now has a digital component.
Trade was once largely confined to advanced economies and their large multinational companies. Today, a more digital form of globalization has opened the door to developing countries, to small companies and start-ups, and to billions of individuals. Tens of millions of small and midsize enterprises worldwide have turned themselves into exporters by joining e-commerce marketplaces such as Alibaba, Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, and Rakuten. Approximately 12 percent of the global goods trade is conducted via international e-commerce. Even the smallest enterprises can be born global: 86 percent of tech-based start-ups surveyed by MGI report some type of cross-border activity. Today, even the smallest firms can compete with the largest multinationals.
Individuals are using global digital platforms to learn, find work, showcase their talent, and build personal networks. Some 900 million people have international connections on social media, and 360 million take part in cross-border e-commerce. Digital platforms for both traditional employment and freelance assignments are beginning to create a more global labor market.
In this increasingly digital era of globalization, large companies can manage their international operations in a leaner, more efficient ways. Using digital platforms and tools, they can sell in fast-growing markets while keeping virtual teams connected in real time. This is a moment for companies to rethink their organizational structures, products, assets, and competitors.
Global flows of all types support growth by raising productivity, and data flows are amplifying this effect by broadening participation and creating more efficient markets. MGI’s analysis finds that over a decade, all types of flows acting together have raised world GDP by 10.1 percent over what would have resulted in a world without any cross-border flows. This value amounted to some $7.8 trillion in 2014 alone, and data flows account for $2.8 trillion of this impact. Both inflows and outflows matter for growth, as they expose economies to ideas, research, technologies, talent, and best practices from around the world.
Although there is substantial value at stake, not all countries are making the most of this potential. The latest MGI Connectedness Index—which ranks 139 countries on inflows and outflows of goods, services, finance, people, and data—finds large gaps between a handful of leading countries and the rest of the world. Singapore tops the latest rankings, followed by the Netherlands, the United States, and Germany. China has grown more connected, reaching number seven, but advanced economies in general remain more connected than developing countries. In fact, each type of flow is concentrated among a small set of highly connected countries.
Lagging countries are closing the gaps with the leaders at a very slow pace, and their limited participation has had a real cost to the world economy. If the rest of the world had increased its participation in global flows at the same rate as the top quartile over the past decade, world GDP would be $10 trillion, or 13 percent, higher today. For countries that have been slow to participate, the opportunities for catch-up growth are too substantial to ignore.
From Why globalization isn’t it in retreat, it’s gone digital
A hand is silhouetted in front of a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in Berlin May 21, 2013. The Financial Times’ website and Twitter feeds were hacked May 17, 2013, renewing questions about whether the popular social media service has done enough to tighten security as cyber-attacks on the news media intensify. The attack is the latest in which hackers commandeered the Twitter account of a prominent news organization to push their agenda. Twitter’s 200 million users worldwide send out more than 400 million tweets a day, making it a potent distributor of news.
Around the world, countries are rethinking the terms of engagement in global trade. This is not all bad; in fact, acknowledgement of globalization’s disruptive effects on millions of advanced-economy workers is long overdue. But new trade policies must be based on a clear-eyed understanding of how globalization is evolving, not on a backward-looking vision based on the last 30 years.
Globalization has done the world a lot of good. Research from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that, thanks to global flows of goods, services, finance, data, and people, world GDP is more than 10% higher – some $7.8 trillion in 2014 alone – than it would have been had economies remained closed.
More interconnected countries capture the largest share of this added value. For example, the United States, which ranks third among 195 countries on MGI’s Connectedness Index, has done rather well. Emerging-market economies have also reaped major gains, using export-oriented industrialization as a springboard for rapid growth.
Yet, even as globalization has narrowed inequality among countries, it has aggravated income inequality within them. From 1998 to 2008, the middle class in advanced economies experienced no income growth, while incomes soared by nearly 70% for those at the top of the global income distribution. Top earners in the US, accounting for half of the global top 1%, reaped a significant share of globalization’s benefits.
To be sure, this isn’t all, or even mostly, a result of globalization. The main culprit is technological change that automates routine manual and cognitive tasks, while increasing demand (and wages) for highly skilled workers. But import competition and labor arbitrage from emerging economies have also played a role. Perhaps more important, they have proved more salient targets of voters’ fear and resentment.
Indeed, in the industries and regions hit hardest by import competition, years of simmering discontent have now boiled over, fueling support for populists promising to roll back globalization. But, as the advanced economies reformulate trade policy, it is critical that they understand that globalization was already undergoing a major structural transformation.
Since the global financial crisis, cross-border capital flows have plummeted, with banks pulling back in response to new regulation. From 1990 to 2007, global trade grew twice as fast as global GDP; since 2010, GDP growth has outpaced that of trade.
Both cyclical and secular forces are behind the trade slowdown. Investment has been anemic for years. China’s growth has slowed – a secular trend that is unlikely to be reversed. And the expansion of global supply chains seems to have reached the frontier of efficiency. In short, slower global trade is likely to be the new normal.
None of this is to say that globalization is in retreat. Rather, it is becoming a more digital phenomenon. Just 15 years ago, cross-border digital flows were almost non-existent; today, they have a larger impact on global economic growth than traditional flows of traded goods.
The volume of cross-border data flows has soared 45-fold since 2005, and is expected to grow another nine-fold over the next five years. Users worldwide can stream Beyoncé’s latest single immediately upon its release. A manufacturer in South Carolina can use the e-commerce platform Alibaba to buy components from a Chinese supplier. A young girl in Kenya can learn math through Khan Academy. Eighty percent of students taking Coursera’s online courses live outside the US.
This new form of digital globalization is more knowledge-intensive than capital- or labor-intensive. It requires broadband connections, rather than shipping lanes. It reduces barriers to entry, strengthens competition, and changes the rules governing how business is done.
Consider export activities, which once seemed out of reach for small businesses lacking the resources to scout out international prospects or navigate cross-border paperwork. Now, digital platforms like Alibaba and Amazon enable even small-scale entrepreneurs to connect directly with customers and suppliers around the world, transforming themselves into “micro multinationals.” Facebook estimates that 50 million small businesses are on its platform, up from 25 million in 2013; 30% of these companies’ Facebook fans, on average, are from other countries.
While digital technologies open the door for small companies and individuals to participate in the global economy, there is no guarantee that sufficient numbers will walk through it. That will require policies that help them take advantage of new global market opportunities.
The US has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, but many of the issues it addressed still require global rules. Data localization requirements and protectionism are on the rise, and data privacy and cyber-security are pressing concerns. In the absence of the TPP, it will be critical to find some other vehicle for establishing new principles for digital trade in the twenty-first century, with a greater emphasis on intellectual property protection, cross-border data flows, and trade in services.
At the same time, advanced economies must help workers acquire the skills needed to fill high-quality jobs in the digital economy. Lifelong learning cannot just be a slogan; it must become a reality. Mid-career retraining must be made available not only to those who have lost their jobs to foreign competition, but also to those facing disruption from the continuing march of automation. Training programs should be able to impart new skills in a matter of months, not years, and they should be complemented by programs that support workers’ incomes during retraining, and that help them relocate for more productive work.
Most of the advanced economies, including the US, have not adequately responded to the needs of the communities and individuals left behind by globalization. Addressing these needs is now of paramount importance. Effective responses will require policies that help people adapt to the present and take advantage of future opportunities in the next phase of digital globalization.
From The ascendancy of international data flows
We compiled data for more than 150 countries for 20 years regarding six types of cross-border flows: physical flows of goods and services, FDI flows, financial flows, labour migration flows, and data flows measured in bits. As flows are most likely correlated to each other, we first resorted to a principal component analysis of flows and found that the largest factor accounted for up to 60% of the variance among flows, with all flows being positively correlated to the factor. Among the factors, this primary factor was also the only one to be statistically (and, as expected, positively) associated with a country’s economic growth.
Estimating a pooled cross-section, time series co-integration model of country GDP growth, we find that, together, global flows of goods, services, finance, people, and data have raised world GDP by at least 10% in the past decade, adding US$8 trillion of GDP by 2015. More crucially, and in part driven by the material growth in cross-border data bits internationally, the value of data flows has nearly matched the value of global trade in physical goods. By 2014, cross-border data flows accounted for $2.3 trillion of this value, or roughly 3.5% of total world GDP.
This estimate is only a first benchmark which will require further verification. But it underscores the importance of global data flows for economies at large. It also highlights new elements of consideration for economists, for policymakers, and for business. Given the significant contribution to GDP, governments must address pending issues such as free flows of data, cybersecurity, and privacy. They must also harness flows better through international standardisation of single payment systems, standardisation of internet of things protocols, coordination of tax issues, and integrated logistics. On the business side, the world’s biggest digital platforms – from e-commerce marketplaces to social media network – have become global in a matter of a few years, but though their concentration may be a concern, they have also amassed hundreds of millions of companies that can benefit from improved export opportunities and achieve major productivity gains.
Furthermore, the international flow of information facilitated by these digital technologies is a powerful driver of new performance for global firms, for example in optimising distributed R&D and innovation. Ultimately, everyone will need to go with the flow.
GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services)
ICT (information and communications technology)
IPR (intellectual property rights)
ITA (International Technology Agreement)
NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration)
OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development)
TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)
TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)
TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement)
USITC (United States International Trade Commission)
USTR (United States Trade Representative)
WTO (World Trade Organization)
Key Sources of Research:
DIGITAL GLOBALIZATION: THE NEW ERA OF GLOBAL FLOWS
Development of Global Trade and Production Accounts: UN SEIGA Initiative
UNSD is developing a handbook on
System of Extended International and Global Accounts (SEIGA)
Statistics to guide policy making has lagged behind dramatic changes in interconnectedness among nations.
Climate and Environmental Globalization
Digital Globalization – Data and Information Flows
People Movements Globalization
Efforts are underway to correct data and statistics measurement and collection.
OECD/WTO Trade in Value Added
EU/EUROSTAT Multi Country Input-Output Tables
UNECE Global Production
From 2014 International Conference on Measurement of Trade and Economic Globalization
Measurement of International Trade and Economic Globalization
In recent years, concerns were raised about the shortcomings of the existing official trade statistics for the purpose of reflecting bilateral economic relations. The high level of import content in exports makes gross bilateral trade statistics unsuitable for bilateral trade negotiations. Trade analysis requires new measures which better reflect the level of interdependencies among countries engaged in global value chains (GVCs). In order to understand the true nature of trade relationships, we need to know what each country along a global value chain contributes to the value of a final product. We also need to know how that contribution is linked to those of other suppliers in other countries coming before and after along the chain, and how much employment and income is generated through this value addition.
The statistical community responded to these concerns through a number of initiatives, such as the UN/Eurostat/WTO Global Forum on Trade Statistics in 2011, the OECD-WTO initiative on Trade in Value-Added launched in 2012, and the 2013 Eurostat report on Global Value Chains. An official response was delivered by bringing the measurement of international trade and economic globalization to the agenda of the UN Statistical Commission in 20131 and again in 20142. The corresponding decisions of the Commission stress the need for a measurement framework and a mechanism for coordination. Specifically, in Decision 44/1063 of its session in 2013, the Commission recognized the need for an overarching measurement framework for international trade and economic globalization, taking into account the existing frameworks and guidelines of the System of National Accounts, Balance of Payments, and the Guidelines on Integrated Economic Statistics, as well as the research and studies done by Eurostat, the OECD, the IMF and various working groups. The Commission also recognized the need for an appropriate mechanism for coordination of the work in this field, ensuring that the functions of the existing expert groups, working groups and task forces are accounted for at the international and regional levels. In the same decision, the Commission agreed to the creation of a “friends of the chair” (FOC) group tasked with preparing a concept paper on the scope and content of the framework, and on the appropriate mechanism for coordination of the work in this area.
The global economy is increasingly structured around GVCs that account for a rising share of international trade, global GDP and employment. GVCs link firms, workers and consumers around the world and often provide a stepping stone for firms and workers in developing countries to integrate into the global economy. A GVC describes the full range of activities that firms and workers perform to bring a product from its conception to end use. This includes activities such as design, production, marketing, distribution and support to the final consumer. The activities that comprise a value chain can be contained within a single firm or divided among different firms. In the context of globalization, the activities that constitute a value chain have generally been carried out in inter-firm networks on a global scale. The dependency structures of the firms in the GVC networks are of crucial importance in order to measure where income, knowledge and employment are generated, and to understand potential risk and vulnerabilities in case of a future financial crisis. Within this changed economic landscape, more complex measures of trade and production are necessary both on micro-and macro-economic level.
In other words, national economies relate to one another in a number of ways be it through trade in goods, trade in services, tourism, foreign direct investment, establishment of foreign affiliates, transfer of knowledge, creation of jobs, redistribution of income, migrant workers, emissions of CO2 or in other ways. A comprehensive way of charting those interdependencies is through a global Supply and Use table (SUT), in which countries connect through imports and exports of goods and services into and out of specific industries. Ideally, the global SUT contains for each international flow an export of a product from an industry of one country into an industry (or into final consumption) of another country, as the corresponding and matching import. In principle, only one global SUT should exist to be used by all national and international agencies for the analysis of trade and globalization. Besides the implicitly mentioned matching of bilateral trade flows (both for goods and services), further refinement may be necessary regarding the use of inputs by type of enterprise for either the domestic or the international market, including the special cases of multi-national enterprises and their foreign affiliates, goods for processing (manufacturing services) and re-exports. Further details on such global SUT were described in a recent paper of the OECD.
Compiling a global SUT requires a very close alignment and harmonization of national SUTs, price statistics and trade statistics. To achieve this in the short term, some practical decisions need to be taken and agreed upon internationally for the creation of a symmetrical and fully balanced bilateral trade matrix at the global level, which would have buy-in, cooperation and endorsement of all concerned countries. This matrix would be built strictly for the purpose of compiling an internationally recognized and accepted SUT. In the longer term, the existing recommendations for international trade statistics would need to be reviewed with the purpose of making them more symmetrical in terms of the reporting of exports and imports, and thus more suitable for the compilation of a global SUT.
A System of International Accounts.
The implications of building a global SUT [for the purpose of deriving, for instance, indicators for Trade in Value Added or Trade in Jobs] are farther reaching than just addressing asymmetries in trade and heterogeneity in firms. The underlying concepts and definitions as basis for measurement of these international statistics would need to be reviewed as well. In terms of the System of National Accounts, the Rest of the World Account would need to be more explicitly defined, especially since a global SUT implies a perfect alignment of international flows, and some international recommendations regarding heterogeneity of firms (where economically relevant). In the longer term, this set of new concepts and definitions could form a System of International Accounts, as the measurement framework for international trade and economic globalization.
From The relevance of multi-country input-output tables in measuring emissions trade balance of countries: the case of Spain
Background and statistical context
The latest meeting of the Group of Experts on National Accounts of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE, 7-9 July 2015), was devoted to data collection and compilation methods in respect to global production activities. It was jointly organized with Eurostat and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The meeting was attended by representatives from more than thirty countries worldwide and representatives from the European Commission (EC), International Monetary Fund (IMF), OECD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and World Trade Organization (WTO), among others.
According to the experts at this UNECE meeting, in order to measure global production and global value chains it is no longer sufficient to look only at what a firm does, but to also to consider how the firm does its activities and with whom. For instance, linking business statistics and trade statistics on a micro level should provide new dimensions to the data as long as new balancing challenges at the macro level data (e.g. national accounts). Indeed, statisticians have not always been able to keep up to date with business practices and must find ways to be forward looking and provide the information that meets future policy needs. Traditional measures of trade in goods and services have to be progressively supplemented with information on income and financial flows. Foreign direct investment statistics (FDI) should be further developed and complemented with foreign affiliate statistics (FATS) in order to improve their clarity, usefulness and coverage, and to provide better insights into global value chains.
In this respect, the UNECE Report emanating from this meeting supported new global initiatives, such as the extensions to Trade in Value Added and Global Input- Output Tables (OECD), the construction of the European Multi-Country Input-Output Framework (EC and Eurostat) as well as the elaboration of a new Handbook on a System of Extended International and Global Accounts (UNSD).
Hence, there is no doubt that globalization is currently affecting the way statisticians are measuring national production of countries and international statistical organizations are indeed very busy working on it in order to meet the policy needs at the worldwide level. As national accounts and input-output tables became an integral part of the production activities of national statistical institutes in the past, very soon multi-country and international input-output tables will become a crucial statistical tool to measure global production, trade in value added, environmental footprints and/or employment effects of export activities with official statistics (e.g. carbon footprint estimated by Eurostat).
Bearing all this in mind, we would like to illustrate in this paper the usefulness of global/world input-output tables in measuring the greenhouse gas footprints of individual countries and its external emission trade balance with respect to others. Hopefully, these types of indicators will soon become regularly produced in the future by statisticians using official global input-output tables instead of using other databases produced as one-off projects (e.g. World Input-Output Database, WIOD – http://www.wiod.org).
From 2016 Meeting of the UN Expert Group on International Trade and Globalization Statistics
Following Decision 46/107 taken by the Statistical Commission at its 46th session in 2015, a handbook on a system of extended international and global accounts will be prepared, which will serve as the measurement framework for international trade and economic globalization. This handbook will build on existing work in this area, in particular by the UNECE, the OECD and Eurostat, and address issues of micro-data linking of business and trade statistics, as well as address the integration of economic, environmental and social dimensions of trade and globalization as an extension of the System of National Accounts 2008 (2008 SNA) and the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting 2012 (SEEA 2012).
The first meeting of the expert group is scheduled to take place on 26-28 January 2016 at the UN headquarters in New York. The Handbook is of course the main topic of discussion at this meeting.
The Handbook will refer to and build upon the work of the Friend of the Chair group, which concluded that improved statistics are necessary and should bring a better understanding of the role of the external sector in an economy, the openness of its domestic and foreign markets and the impact of openness on social, economic and environmental upgrading, including the level and quality of employment. More and better data is needed in developed, emerging and developing economies alike: interconnected economies require interconnected statistics and all economies can benefit from a better understanding of these relationships.
As stated in the 2015 FOC report, policymakers and trade negotiators need to understand the cross-country benefits and risks by being able to “look through” the global value chains and see the specific contributions other countries are making to production networks involving their domestic firms. The GVC approach was suggested by the international statistical community as the preferred way of measuring the interconnectedness of economies with respect to jobs, skills, international competitiveness and the creation of value added, income and jobs. The activities involved in GVCs can be grouped into broad stages of production from upstream research and design, through manufacturing, to downstream logistics, marketing and sales. In a GVC, many of the tasks are “offshored”, either through an enterprise’s own affiliates located in foreign countries or through independent contractors. It is this newly emerged international economic integration of production and trade and their governance that has to be better measured and analyzed, including in respect of the benefits, costs and risks associated with engaging in GVCs.
The Handbook can build upon the recommendations and guidelines provided in UNECE’s Guide to Measuring Global Production. This Guide was released at the end of 2015 and provides valuable insights in the functioning and measurement of global value chains. The Guide provides a typology of global production arrangements and describes the principles of ownership inside a multi-national enterprise, as well as ownership of intellectual property products inside global production. In addition, data source and compilation challenges are addressed with special attention to large and complex enterprises.
The Handbook can also build on work presented at the International Conference on Measurement of Trade and Economic Globalization in Mexico in 2014. For example, it could use the value chain reference model to establish alternative aggregations of basic ISIC categories. Those aggregations can be based on enterprise activities in the offshoring of business functions, the use of intermediate inputs, the kinds of basic classes of goods produced and the variety of end markets. The reason for making those distinctions is that it is not possible, in the current ISIC, to distinguish the significant differences between enterprises that operate domestically and those that operate globally. Harmonization of enterprises into groups of similar make-up could significantly improve the accounting structure of the supply and use tables for the analysis of global value chains; harmonization could be achieved in terms of industry, supply chain position, end markets and the extent of the use of business functions being outsourced.
The OECD expert group on extended Supply-Use Tables addresses the estimation methods of trade in value added. The terms of reference of the group states among others that globalization is rapidly changing long-standing assumptions about the relative homogeneity of the production functions (Input-Output technical coefficients) of units classified to a given industrial activity, which is, implicitly, an underlying assumption used in creating input-output based indicators. The increasing prevalence of new types of firms such as factoryless producers and contract processing firms, and the increasing tendency for horizontal, as opposed to vertical, specialization, particularly for multinational affiliates, has fundamentally challenged these assumptions. Therefore, the OECD expert group is looking for the best ways to breakdown firms by specific characteristics (such as involvement in GVCs) which will make the sub-groups more homogeneous.
A GVC approach seems appropriate for the Handbook on a system of extended international and global accounts, since GVCs cut across geographic borders and bring together those global economic activities, goods and services, which belong together. Measurement of economic interdependencies (involving investment, job creation, income and intellectual property) within and across countries — between upstream design and downstream assembly — requires measurement of GVCs. Similarly, if we want to understand the interdependencies within and across countries for global retailers, financial and nonfinancial service providers, as well as horizontally-integrated enterprises, the GVC is the appropriate organizing framework.
This focus on GVCs has important implications for the unit of measurement and related data collection and estimation procedures. Most of the key decisions made by global manufacturers and global service providers are made at the enterprise rather than the establishment, or plant, level. This implies that for multi-national enterprises data on profits, research and development, transfer pricing, final product pricing, design, financing, advertising, and the rest of the links in GVCs are only available at the global enterprise level.
How to Integrate National SUIOTS into Global MCIO tables
SUTs (Supply and Use Tables)
GVCs (Global Value Chains)
UN SEIGA (System of Extended International and Global Accounts)
UN SEEA (System of Environment Economic Accounts)
Bilateral Trade Matrix
TIVA ( Trade in Value Added)
MCIO (Multi Country Input Output Tables)
SUIOT ( Supply and Use Input Output Tables)
UN SNA (System of National Accounts)
UNSD ( United Nations Statistical Division)
UNECE ( United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)
EUROSTAT ( European Statistics Division)
UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development)
WTO ( World Trade Organization)
UN ITEGS (International Trade and Economic Globalization Statistics)
WIOD ( World Input Output Database)
FIGARO (Full International and Global Accounts for Research in
Key Sources of Research:
Global Forum on Trade Statistics Measuring Global Trade — Do We Have the Right Numbers?
From Global Sustainability Accounting—Developing EXIOBASE for Multi-Regional Footprint Analysis
Perish or prosper? Human development must occur without overwhelming the natural ecosystems that we depend on. Sustainable development is now a constant focus of policy development, and sustainability metrics are becoming centralized within statistics. Models are continuously being developed to better inform policy processes while databases are being increasingly refined to provide the most complete and coherent description of society. To this end, focus has been applied on developing internationally applicable concepts within the United Nations framework for harmonizing economic and environmental accounting  so that we have global coverage and comparability between sustainability indicators. Significant progress has been made to harmonize the economic and environmental accounting principles with the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA). We describe here the efforts made to operationalize a global-integrated accounting framework within the SEEA guidelines. The work focuses on the practicalities of implementing SEEA guidelines for data gathering, the amelioration of approaches for allocating supply chain impacts, and the demonstration of global impacts across the production and consumption perspectives.
There are two approaches in accounting for GHG emissions.
Production based Accounting
Consumption based Accounting
The relationship between production- and consumption-based emissions is ‘consumption- based emissions = production-based emissions – emissions embodied in exports + emissions embodied in imports’.
From Consumption-based emission accounting for Chinese cities
At present, few governments choose consumption-based accounting in determining their mitigation policies, and most global climate change agreements are based on production-based accounting, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. Consumption-based accounting’s advantages have been shown in many studies; this approach elucidates the drivers of emissions growth, improves cost-effectiveness and justice, addresses carbon leakage, promotes environmental comparative advantages, and encourages technology diffusion [13,22,26,40]. There are substantial differences between production- and consumption-based accounting in terms of calculating both overall and per capita carbon emissions levels. As a result, the selection of an emission accounting approach has a major influence on the allocation of responsibilities for climate change mitigation. The two different accounting approaches must thus be considered comprehensively to identify fair mitigation policies. At the city level, consumption- based accounting can help cities to reduce emissions both within city boundaries and along their entire supply chains at minimum cost. Interregional cooperation on climate change mitigation should employ consumption-based accounting to allocate mitigation responsibilities more fairly and efficiently. Therefore, consumption-based carbon emission accounting is a complementary tool for promoting climate action at the city level.
From Counting CO2 emissions in a globalised world
The main conclusions from this paper are:
Comprehensive carbon trade balances with embedded emissions show that emissions related to domestic consumption of products are significantly higher than those related to domestic production in many industrialised countries. The opposite is revealed for trade engaged developing and emerging economies.
Consumption-based carbon trade balances should be established in addition to productionbased balances because they can help in finding solutions to issues such as carbon leakage and emission targets for developing countries.
Background and methodology
2.1 Approaches to carbon accounting
The most commonly used method for CO2 accounting – production-based or territorial accounting – measures the CO2 emitted within a country. While it can be used to evaluate the global environmental impacts of the production and consumption activities of a specific country, it cannot identify shifts of environmental pressures as a result of changing global production, trade and consumption patterns. Moreover, it is not possible to use this approach to analyse carbon leakage or equity concerns related to the structure of trade relations between developing and industrialised countries (Schaeffer / Leal de Sá 1996).
By contrast, consumption-based emissions are calculated by adding the emissions arising from domestic production and emissions embodied in imports and subtracting the emissions embodied in exports (Nakano et al. 2009). Allocating emissions on a national production basis is easier than calculating them on a consumption basis because the latter requires the detailed specification of inter-industry and international trade structures. The calculation of emissions from the production of exports furthermore requires large quantities of country-specific, up- to-date data (in the form of so-called input-output tables and international trade data). Territo- rial accounting, by contrast, has clear system boundaries and good data availability.
The choice between the production and consumption accounting principle implies an inherent judgment on whether the producer or the consumer is responsible for the CO2 emissions.
2.2 Models for economy-wide carbon accounting
The most commonly used methodology to estimate embodied emissions in international trade and identify all direct and indirect effects of production is based on the analysis of input- output (IO) tables. Input-output tables express the structure of an economy in terms of the inputs to its various sectors and the nature of the outputs from those sectors. They can be used to investigate what an economy extracts from and introduces into the natural environment as well as the environmental implications of resource use of final consumption (Leontief / Ford 1970; Miller / Blair 1985; Walter 1973). Environmentally extended input-output analysis can be used to analyse the environmental effects of structural changes in the economy, such as technology, trade, investment and consumption.
There are two kinds of input-output-based approaches – Single-Region Input-Output (SRIO) models and Multi-Regional Input-Output (MRIO) models.4 As supply chains have become increasingly global over the past decades, MRIO models have gained in importance in meas- uring emissions embodied in trade. A multi-regional input-output model includes all trade linkages between regions and shows how many domestic and imported products are required from each sector in each region. The main advantages of the MRIO approach are:
MRIO models enable an accurate and comprehensive evaluation of the environmental impacts embedded in trade because they link (monetary) trade flows and environmental databases, taking variations in production structures and technologies between different countries and world regions into account (Wiedmann et al. 2007a).
MRIO models can be used to conduct different analyses at the international level, such as structural path analysis, production layer composition, quantification of shared environ- mental responsibilities between producers and consumers of goods (Wiedmann et al. 2007a; Wiedmann et al. 2007b).
MRIO models can help to capture direct, indirect and induced effects of international trade (Wiedmann et al. 2007a).
In recent years, complex multi-regional multi-sectoral input-output models have been used to identify the environmental pressures that occur along the international supply chains of products (Ahmad / Wyckoff 2003; Peters / Hertwich 2004).5 The latest studies to calculate embodied CO2 emissions which distinguish a large number of countries and regions, based on the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) database, include Peters and Hertwich (2008b) and Minx et al. (2008).
From GLOBAL MULTIREGIONAL INPUT–OUTPUT FRAMEWORKS: AN INTRODUCTION AND OUTLOOK
Stock Flow Consistent Models for Ecological Economics
Planetary boundaries – Stockholm Resilience Centre
Replies to criticism of the Planetary Boundaries concept:
Johan Rockström: addressing some key misconceptions
Planetary Boundaries concept is valuable for policy
New approaches are needed to help humanity deal with climate change and other global environmental threats that lie ahead in the 21st century. A group of 28 internationally renowned scientists propose that global biophysical boundaries, identified on the basis of the scientific understanding of the Earth System, can define a safe planetary operating space that will allow humanity to continue to develop and thrive for generations to come.
This new approach to sustainable development was conveyed in Nature and Ecology and Society where the scientists have made a first attempt to identify and quantify a set of nine planetary boundaries.
“The human pressure on the Earth System has reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. To continue to live and operate safely, humanity has to stay away from critical ‘hard-wired´ thresholds in the Earth’s environment, and respect the nature of the planet’s climatic, geophysical, atmospheric and ecological processes,” says lead author Johan Rockström, director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.
He warns that transgressing planetary boundaries may be devastating for humanity, but if we respect them we have a bright future for centuries ahead.
Nine boundaries identified
The group of scientists including Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Will Steffen, Katherine Richardson, Jonathan Foley and Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen, have attempted to quantify the safe biophysical boundaries outside which, they believe, the Earth System cannot function in a stable state, the state in which human civilizations have thrived.
The scientists first identified the Earth System processes and potential biophysical thresholds, which, if crossed, could generate unacceptable environmental change for humanity. They then proposed the boundaries that should be respected in order to reduce the risk of crossing these thresholds.
The Nine boundaries identified were: – climate change – stratospheric ozone – land use change – freshwater use – biological diversity – ocean acidification – nitrogen and phosphorus inputs to the biosphere and oceans – aerosol loading – chemical pollution.
The study suggests that three of these boundaries (climate change, biological diversity and nitrogen input to the biosphere) may already have been transgressed. In addition, it emphasizes that the boundaries are strongly connected — crossing one boundary may seriously threaten the ability to stay within safe levels of the others.
Stockholm Resillience Institute
Club of Rome – Limits to Growth
From An ecological stock-flow-fund modelling framework
Since 1960-70s, several studies have attempted to understand impact of climate change on human systems. New attempts are being made to incorporate monetary macro economics within framework of Physical Science models of Climate Change. Some models are aggregated and some are disaggregated at regional level. These Integrated models of economy and climate are known as Integrated Impact Assessment Models (IAMs).
Various mathematical modeling techniques have been used.
Varieties of Modeling approaches
General Circulation Model (GCM)
Integrated Impact Assessment Model (IAM)
Econometric Input-Output Model
System Dynamics Model
Stock-Flow Consistent Ecological Economic Model
GCM are known as Climate Models and are based on Physical/Chemical Sciences. Some of them are listed here but are not discussed. Our interest is in Integrated Models which incorporate impact of climate change on Social and Economic Systems.
GCM (General Circulation Models)
called Climate Models – No Economics
use Physical Science
From Ecological Macroeconomic Models: Assessing Current Developments
Types of Models
Input Output Models
CGE Models (Optimization based)
Social Accounting Matrix
System Dynamics Models
Stock Flow Consistent Models
Agent Based Models
Most of the models are either Optimization models or hybrid models incorporating several techniques.
From On the economic foundations of green growth discourses
A. Resources Constraints
B. Climate Change
EIO (Econometric Input Output) Model -E3ME
INFORUM (Univ. of Maryland)
Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Models
Social Accounting Matrix (SAM)
Econometric Input Output Models
IAMs (Integrated Assessment Models)
From AMPERE Project Website
From Integrated Impact Assessment Models of Climate Change with an Emphasis on Damage Functions: a Literature Review
From Inside the integrated assessment models: Four issues in climate economics
From On the economic foundations of green growth discourses
System Dynamics Models
MIT System Dynamics C-Roads Model
FREE Model – Tom Fiddaman
Millennium Institute Threshold 21 -T21 Model
New Economic Foundation NEF
Stock Flow Consistent Models
GEMMA Green Economy Macro-Model and Accounts framework
FALSTAFF Financial Assets and Liabilities in a Stock and Flow consistent Framework
(Tim Jackson, Peter Victor)
Uses STELLA system dynamics software
GEMMES Model – Gaël Giraud et all, France
Stock Flow Consistent + Input-output Model (SFCIO)
From Foundations for an Ecological Macroeconomics: literature review and model development
In the late 1960s and early 1970s several economists, including Leontief, suggested ways in which input-output models could be used for analyzing various economic aspects of environmental pollution. Victor (1972) showed how input-output models could be extended systematically to include material flows to and from economies and the environment by applying the principle of materials balance. In this way, economies could be understood and modelled as sub-systems of the biosphere in which they are embedded. Victor developed the theoretical framework for this approach and produced the first estimates of the direct, indirect and total material flows (resource inputs and waste outputs) for a national economy. The approach has subsequently been adapted to explore a variety of environmental features of the economy, including: the ‘carbon trade-balance’ of a national economy (Proops et al 1993, Jackson et al 2007); the distribution of carbon emissions attributable to different socio-economic groups and expenditures (Druckman and Jackson 2009); and the extent of the rebound effect from efficiency savings (Druckman et al 2011).
The static input-output model has been developed in two different directions. One is the construction of fully fledged macroeconomic multi-sectoral models such as Barker (1976) and Barker and Peterson (1987) for the UK economy or the INFORUM (Inter-industry Forecasting and Modelling at the University of Maryland) model family, first described in Almon et.al. (1974). The other line of development consisted of large CGE models like the GREEN model of OECD (Burniaux, et.al., 1992; Lee, et.al., 1994). The situation in Europe during the decade after 1990 was characterized by the parallel development and application of the CGE model GEM-E3 (Conrad and Schmidt, 1998) and the EIO model E3ME (Barker, 1999, Barker, et.al., 1999). Both models integrated energy and emissions in the economic model (E3) and have been used for evaluation of energy tax policies and emission trading at the EU level in standardized simulations (for comparison of results see: Barker, 1999).
As a consequence of these parallel developments of very different models, there has been an ongoing discussion between the EIO- and the CGE-community focussing on the following issues: calibration vs. econometric estimation, the choice of functional forms in relation to the behavioural assumptions (economic rationality of agents), the role of equilibrium mechanisms and the benchmark year, as well as the meaning of time and the modelling of adjustment towards equilibrium.
A Stock-Flow Consistent System Dynamics Framework
The modelling approach pursued by Surrey builds on an on-going project led by Prof Tim Jackson and Prof Peter Victor (York University, Toronto). Working together over the last four years, Jackson and Victor have begun to develop a stock-flow consistent (SFC) ecological macro-economics. The broad approach has several distinct features.
In the first place, it draws together three primary spheres of modelling interest and explores the interactions between them. These spheres are: 1) the ecological and resource constraints on economic activity; 2) a full account of production, consumption, employment and public finances in the ‘real economy’ at the level of the nation state; 3) a comprehensive account of the money economy, including the main interactions between financial agents, and the creation, flow and destruction of the money supply itself. Interactions within and between these spheres of interest are modelled, using a system dynamics framework.6
Systems modelling has a long pedigree within ecological economics, stemming most notably from the work of Jay Forrester and the Club of Rome’s ground-breaking Limits to Growth report (Meadows et al 1972). In the context of this research, it offers a number of advantages. Most obviously, the structural form of systems dynamics employs a consistent understanding of stocks and flows, and the relationship between them. It is therefore well-suited to capturing the importance of stocks and flows in all three spheres of interest in this exercise. Systems dynamics is particularly useful in exploring scenario development over time. It allows considerable user- interaction in the specification of exogenous variables and facilitates a collaborative (visual) understanding of both the model structure and the scenario results (van den Belt 2004).
A further key feature of the Surrey approach is the focus of attention on the individual nation state. A premise of the work is that the ‘dilemma of growth’ has particular ramifications for national policy and is best explored at that level. The growth of GDP or national income in a particular country is not just a significant policy indicator in its own right, it is also a measure of production output and consumption possibilities, as well as being related to a country’s ability to provide citizens with work, finance its social investment, and compete in global markets. Admittedly, all of these questions could also be (and often are) asked at supra-national or sub-national level. Since the development of a unified System of National Accounts (UN 1993, 2008), however, the most comprehensive, reliable and consistent data sets tend to be available at country and national level.
Finally, in addition to ideas and frameworks that have a long pedigree in ecological economics (such as system dynamics) Jackson and Victor have drawn substantially on insights adopted recently by post-Keynesian economics and modern theory and in particular the approach known as Stock-Flow Consistent macro-economics, pioneered by Copeland (1949) and developed extensively by Godley and Lavoie (2007). From these foundations and starting points, two somewhat distinct models have so far been constructed, and are currently being calibrated against National Accounts data from the UK and from Canada.
GEMMA and FALSTAFF Models
The Green Economy Macro-Model and Accounts framework (GEMMA) is a systems dynamics input- output model incorporating 12 industry sectors (and the interactions between them) and six ‘accounting sectors’. Early results from GEMMA were reported during the Rio Summit in June 2012. It was possible to establish simple scenarios for the decarbonisation of the economy, with and without de-growth, and to explore the implications of these scenarios for employment, public debt, and sector balance sheets. Comprehensive materials, energy and emission databases have now been compiled (and estimated) at 12-sector level for eventual use in the model.
Though it includes a comprehensive division of the economy and an accounting framework which imposes stock-flow consistency on monetary flows, the GEMMA framework so far lacks a full articulation of the SFC approach of post-Keynesian economics and modern money theory.
To explore the financial elements of the economy more thoroughly, Jackson and Victor developed what is currently a separate systems dynamics model. Financial Assets and Liabilities in a Stock and Flow consistent Framework (FALSTAFF) contains a simplified version of the real economy. The real economy in FALSTAFF consists of only one sector defined in terms of the national economy and simple import-export trade relationship with the rest of the world. However, it creates more detail in the financial relationships within and between sectors than GEMMA, and is able to simulate and report the key accounting identities of SFC theory. Early results from FALSTAFF were presented at the Canadian Ecological Economics Conference in Toronto in November 2013.
From Coping with the Collapse: A Stock-Flow Consistent, Monetary Macro-dynamics of Global Warming
Taking advantage of over forty years of hindsight available since The Limits to Growth (LtG) was published (Meadows et al., 1972, 1974), several attempts to review how society is tracking relative to their ground-breaking modelling have addressed the question of whether the global economy is on a path of sustainability or collapse. Turner (2008) and Hall and Day (2009) tend to confirm the LtG standard-run scenarios, which forecast a collapse in living standards due to resource constraints in the twenty-first century. On the other hand, over a similar time frame, international efforts based around a series of United Nations (UN) conferences have yielded rather mixed results (Linner and Selin, 2013, Meadowcroft, 2013). In these simulations at least, the unravelling of the global economy and environment is essentially due to the growing scarcity of natural resources (energy, minerals, water…), while climate change plays little role, if any. Given the ongoing awareness of climate change damages, crystallized at the diplomatic level in the Paris Agreement of December 2015, this raises the question of whether global warming might per se induce a similar breakdown of the world economy. This paper examines this issue, presenting a macroeconomic model of endogenous growth that enables to take into consideration both the economic impact of climate change and the pivotal role of private debt.
Using a Goodwin-Keen approach, based on the Lotka-Volterra logic, we couple its nonlinear dynamics of underemployment and income distribution with abatement costs. Moreover, various damage functions à la Nordhaus and Dietz-Stern reflect the loss in final production due to the temperature increase caused by the rising levels of carbon dioxide emissions. We incorporate endogenous drivers of growth and allow climate change to damage these drivers. Our modelling approach is also compatible with multiple long-run equilibria, it is stock- flow consistent (Godley and Lavoie, 2012), and exhibits endogenous monetary cycles and growth, viscous prices, private debt, and underemployment. An empirical estimation of the model at the world-scale enables us to simulate plausible trajectories for the planetary business-as-usual scenario. We analyse the extent to which slower demographic growth or higher carbon pricing allow a global breakdown to be avoided. The paper concludes by examining the conditions under which the +1.5°C target, adopted by the Paris Agreement (2015), could be reached.
By combining financial and environmental aspects, the stock-flow consistent macroeconomic model introduced in this paper allows us to evaluate economic growth, or possible (forced) degrowth, depending on the dynamics of labour productivity, damages induced by global warming, the demographic trend, and climate sensitivity, as well as the carbon price path. Our main finding is that, even though the short-run impact of climate change on economic fundamentals may seem prima facie rather minor, its long-run dynamic consequences may lead to an extreme downside. Under plausible circumstances, global warming forces the private sector to leverage in order to compensate for output losses; the private debt overhang may eventually induce a global financial collapse, even before climate change could cause serious damage to the production sector. Under more severe conditions, the interplay between global warming and debt may lead to a secular stagnation followed by a collapse in the second half of this century. These results complete the path-breaking work of LtG by adding a third cause of possible collapse to the scarcity of natural resources and pollution (other than CO2 emissions).
Curbing the demographic trend does postpone the potential disaster but is not sufficient to avoid it. However, a carbon price starting at US$ 12 t/CO2 in 2015 and reaching US$ 29 t/CO2 in 2055 suffices to restore perpetual growth whenever climate sensitivity is 2.9. With a high climate sensitivity of 6, a much more severe carbon price path is needed, starting for instance at US$ 65.5 t/CO2 in 2015 and finishing at a level higher than US$ 285 t/CO2 in 2050. Given the radical uncertainty that plagues climatologists’ knowledge about climate sensitivity, these results call for strong and immediate action. This can take the form of a high carbon price (or price corridor, since there is no reason for the relevant incentivizing price to be uniform throughout the world), starting immediately above US$ 65.5 t/CO2, and rapidly increasing. Finally, it seems too late for the world economy to be able to reach the +1.5°C target, unless with a stroke of luck climate sensitivity turns out to be very low.
D.H. Meadows, Club of Rome, and Potomac Associates. The Limits to growth: a report for the Club of Rome’s project on the predicament of mankind. Number ptie. 1 in Potomac Associates book. Universe Books, 1972.
D. H. Meadows and Club of Rome. The Limits to growth: a report for the Club of Rome’s project on the predicament of mankind. Number vol. 1974, ptie. 2 in The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind. New American Library, 1974.
G. M. Turner. A comparison of The Limits to Growth with 30 years of reality. Global Environmental Change, 18:397–411, 2008.
C. A. S. Hall and J. W. Day. Revisiting the Limits to Growth After Peak Oil. American Scientist, 18:230–7, May- June 2009.
B. Linner and H. Selin. The united nations conference on sustainable development: forty years in the making. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 31(6):971–87, 2013.
J. Meadowcroft. Reaching the limits? developed country engagement with sustainable development in a challenging conjuncture. Environment and Planning C, 31(6):988–1002, 2013.
S. Keen. Finance and economic breakdown: modeling Minsky’s “financial instability hypothesis”. Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, pages 607–35, 1995.
W. Godley and M. Lavoie. Monetary Economics: An Integrated Approach to Credit, Money, Income, Production and Wealth. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2012.
W. D. Nordhaus. Optimal Greenhouse-Gas Reductions and Tax Policy in the “Dice” Model. American Economic Review, 83(2):313–17, May 1993.
S. Dietz and N. Stern. Endogenous growth, convexity of damage and climate risk: How Nordhaus’ framework supports deep cuts in carbon emissions. The Economic Journal, 125(583):574–620, 2015.
From Stock-Flow Consistent Input–Output Models as a Bridge Between Post-Keynesian and Ecological Economics
By combining SFC models and IO models, financial flows of funds can be integrated with flows of real goods and services. Lawrence Klein, who developed large scale macroeconomic models typified by the FRB-MIT-Penn model, has noted the natural synergies between the National Income and Product accounts, the IO accounts, and the FF accounts (Klein, 2003). The approach of combining both SFC and IO models with ecological macroeconomics affords one method to unite those accounts, as suggested by Klein, and to simultaneously model monetary flows through the financial system, flows of produced goods and services through the real economy, and flows of physical materials through the natural environment. Models of this type may provide additional tools to aid macroeconomists, ecological economists, and physicists in the task of understanding the economy and the physical environment as one united and complexly interrelated system, rather than as a colloidal agglomeration of artificially separated analytical domains. These modes of analysis are required to study pressing problems such as climate change, which are neither purely economic, nor purely environmental, nor purely physical, but rather are all of the above (Rezai et al., 2013). The following chapter presents the methodology and structure of a conceptual stock-flow consistent input–output model.
Carbon Accounting, System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA)
United Nations has developed SEEA framework for accounting of stocks and flows related to integrated Environmental Economic flows. In 2012, last update was published.
From TOWARDS A COMPREHENSIVE AND FULLY INTEGRATED STOCK AND FLOW FRAMEWORK FOR CARBON ACCOUNTING IN AUSTRALIA
Since only the mid-1990s, national governments have invested substantially in information systems to meet their reporting obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. These systems, developed under Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidance, generate considerable amounts of information and undergo constant refinement and coverage. They are designed to report flow information, i.e. greenhouse gas emissions to and removals from the atmosphere. This information is crucial not just for reporting against climate change mitigation commitments but also for understanding the climate change process. The information system, however, is incomplete because data users – be they policy makers, researchers or the public – need stock and flow information. Our core objectives are usually expressed in stock terms. How we get there is usually expressed in flow terms. For example, the economic wealth of a country (a stock) is built through a combination of processes (various flows such as investing and working).
At the country level, carbon flow information needs complementing with information about carbon stocks in fossil fuels and in ecosystems to provide policy makers and other data users with a complete set of information. Recent advances in understanding and research have made the reporting of comprehensive carbon stock and flow information a real possibility. These include: DoE work to progressively develop a comprehensive carbon accounting framework to support multiple information needs; the stock-based modelling underpinning much of the flow information reported by DoE for the land sector; the experience and skills in the ABS developed over many decades of economic accounting in the principles of comprehensiveness and linking multiple stock and flow accounts; the endorsement and publication in 2012 of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) Central Framework by the United Nations, European Commission, FAO, OECD, IMF and World Bank as a global statistical standard and the subsequent SEEA work to develop stock accounting frameworks for various ‘assets’ including carbon as presented in SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting and published by the European Commission, OECD, United Nations and World Bank in 2013. The consistency in concepts, standards and classifications between the SEEA and the economic System of National Accounts (SNA) presents a real opportunity to fully integrate carbon and economic information to enhance research and policy making in Australia.
From A review of recent multi-region input–output models used for consumption-based emission and resource accounting
The interest in consumption-based emission and resource accounting has grown significantly. Many studies juxtapose consumer emissions (carbon footprint) and producer (territorial) emissions of greenhouse gases in order to demonstrate the effects of trade on the national emission budget. To this end, a respectable number of studies have been undertaken worldwide in order to estimate emissions embedded in international trade of numerous countries and world regions. Input–output approaches, and increasingly multi-region input–output (MRIO) models, are commonly chosen as they provide an appropriate methodological framework for complete carbon footprint estimates at the national and supra-national level. With increasing processing capabilities of computers and a wider availability of economic accounts, environmental accounts and trade data such models are now being implemented on a wide scale.
After a brief overview of salient single-region input–output studies I provide an in-depth review of the most recent multi-region input–output models used for the purpose of consumption-based environmental accounting. The main methodological features and important results are described for around twenty studies covering the years 2007 to 2009. This is followed by a detailed review of studies dealing with uncertainty in MRIO analysis, an area which has not received a lot of attention so far. I conclude that further research is mainly needed in two areas, a) improvements in data availability and quality and b) improvements in the accuracy of MRIO modelling.
Regional Disaster Impact Analysis
Multi Regional Input Output (MRIO) Tables
Input Output Tables
Social Accounting Matrix SAM
UN – SEEA (System of Environmental Economic Accounting)
Social Cost of Carbon
EEIO (Environmentally Extended Input Output)
World Input Output Network (WION)
Global Multi Regional Input Output (GMRIO)
Stock Flow Consistent Models (SFC)
Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Models
Monetary Input Output Tables
Carbon Stocks and Flow Accounting
Limits to Growth
Integrated Impact Assessment Models (IAMs)
Post Growth Economics
Steady State Economy
Notable centres of integrated assessment modelling are IIASA, MIT, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and International Futures.
Notable scholars are Barry B. Hughes, Bill Nordhaus, Robert Mendelsohn, Rich Richels, Michael Schlesinger, Stephen Schneider, Richard Tol, John Weyant, and Gary Yohe.
During the Global Financial Crisis, institutions which were monitoring and regulating Banking systems realized that there are gaps in data to get a better understanding of cross border lending by Banks.
Bank of International Settlement BIS collects and publishes following datasets:
Consolidated Banking Statistics (CBS)
Locational Banking Statistics (LBS)
From US Banks’ International Balance Sheet Linkages: A Data Survey
International financial linkages are mostly established through banks’ lending and borrowing across the borders. Still, very little is known on the actual geographical composition of banks’ foreign balance sheet positions due to the fact that existing bilateral banking statistics is rather incomplete and scant both at the aggregate and micro level ( (Cerutti, et al., 2011); (Fender & Patrick, 2009); (McGuire & von Peter, 2009)). At the micro level, in particular, bilateral positions of banks by location of counterparty are neither collected by the regulator nor available from commercial databases (Herrero & Martinez Peira, 2007).
At the macro level, the Consolidated Banking Statistics (CBS) published by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) is the most complete data source publicly available on aggregate bilateral claims of banks, available on a comparable cross-country basis and collected according to the nationality principle1. The CBS is best suited to assess country risk, as it reports gross claims of home and worldwide offices reported by national banks to individual foreign countries.
The consolidation within the CBS, however, does not allow to quantify gross cross-border bilateral positions that banks have vis-à-vis their foreign affiliates. Important direct linkages can, indeed, arise through cross-border positions with banks’ foreign-related entities, such as branches or subsidiaries, especially in those countries, such as the US, where foreign-related offices are the largest foreign counterparties of domestic banks.
Moreover, bilateral banking liabilities are not publicly available within the CBS preventing the assessment of other important macro risks arising from international banking activity, most notably funding and global systemic risks. The Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS) at the the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has recently announced that the latter limitation is being tackled in the new reporting regime in which banks must disclose also bilateral liabilities a consolidated basis with details of the instrument type (CGFS, 2012). The BIS also collects unconsolidated positions (i.e. both assets and liabilities) of banks located in a given country on all foreigners in the Locational Banking Statistics (LBS), in which bilateral positions are not publicly disclosed2. For the US, however, bilateral foreign unconsolidated banking assets and liabilities are available from the Treasury International Capital System (TICS)3. Coherent to the balance of payment residency principle, the reporting institutions are branches of foreign banks residing in the US which report their positions vis-à-vis all foreigners by foreign country, including related-offices.
Residency-based statistics is ill-suited to assess bi-lateral linkages of US banks as confounding resident foreign and domestic banks does not allow to disentangle the different lending conducts and funding structures4. Also, the foreign counterparty includes foreign branches and subsidiaries of domestic banks as well as parents, branches and subsidiaries of foreign banks resident in the US, hindering a full understanding of the geography of banks’ funding, liquidity and capital allocation.
The aim of this paper is to review all the available data at the macro level in order to both draw a map of the bilateral international balance sheet positions of US banks by counterparty country and stress the data limitations and gaps. Firstly, this paper presents an extensive survey of all available bilateral macro data on international linkages created by US banks’ balance sheets. This investigation details the components and measurements (consolidated vs. unconsolidated data collection) of external positions of US banks. The survey is mainly based on the statistics provided by the Country Exposure Lending Survey (CELS) published by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), upon which the BIS CBS for the US is based, and the US Banking claims and liabilities statistics published by the Treasury International Capital System (TICS). The second part of the paper discusses how data gaps might distort the measurement of important bilateral linkages and suggests how these limitations might be tackled by future research.
In the literature can be found a few papers that bring together existing available datasets to evaluate bi-lateral financial linkages, such as the works by (Lane & Milesi-Ferretti, 2011), (Milesi- Ferretti, et al., 2010) and (Cerutti, 2013). The latter study, in particular, estimates the linkages created by banks’ balance sheet by combining BIS CBS with foreign office data available commercially at the micro-level with the intent of measuring foreign rollover risks.
In this paper it is stressed that consolidated and unconsolidated banking statistics should both include a vis-à-vis country dimension, other than a sectoral and instrument-type segmentation. Moreover, statistics should be segmented enough to allow mapping unconsolidated to consolidated data. In particular, consolidated banking statistics should differentiate claims booked from domestic offices to those from branches and subsidiaries, possibly by host country. Unconsolidated statistics, should disentangle positions booked from domestic banks and foreign banks and vis-à-vis related- offices, possibly identifying the nationality foreign banks. While the statistics enhancements of the CGFS are definitely going towards this direction, this paper suggests that more detailed information should be collected on the funding structure of foreign-related offices, disentangling, when possible, branches by subsidiaries by host country.
An overview of bi-lateral foreign exposure of US banks
The linkages created by banks via their international balance sheet positions can be assessed on either a consolidated or unconsolidated basis.
The BIS provides the framework to collect international banking claims on a consolidated basis. The Consolidated Banking Statistics (CBS) provides very useful scope for assessing country risk as its concern is to measure the exposure of the banking sector of a given country i on a foreign country j on a nationality basis: banks are grouped according to their nationality so that all branches of banks with nationality i located worldwide report their positions vis-à-vis the residents of a given country j. Total foreign exposure, namely foreign claims, of the banking sector in i on country j is obtained by summing the consolidated cross-border claims on unaffiliated foreigners in j and local claims of foreign offices established in j. The BIS publishes bilateral foreign claims for the reporting county vis-à-vis the rest of the world by country of location of the counterparty on a quarterly basis. For the US case, more detailed data is available from the Country Exposure Lending Survey (CELS) published by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), upon which the BIS CBS for the US is based.
Banks’ foreign exposure evaluated on an unconsolidated (or locational) basis, on the other hand, complies with the balance of payments principles. Banks are grouped according to their residency so that in a given country i the reporting banks are all those institutions operating in i, including the resident branches of foreign banks. Total foreign exposure is here calculated by measuring unconsolidated cross-border claims only, i.e. claims on all those counterparties which are not domestically located, including related offices. The BIS collects quarterly statistics on unconsolidated banking assets and liabilities, that is, the Locational Banking Statistics (LBS), for a large set of reporting countries, reporting positions broken down by currency, counterparty sector and nationality of banks. Although the BIS collects unconsolidated banking statistics by country of location of the counterparty (i.e. vis-à-vis country dimension), this information is not publicly disclosed hindering a geographical mapping of the counterparties of reporting banks. For the case of US, however, this bilateral assets and liabilities of banks on an unconsolidated basis are published by the US Treasury within the Treasury International Capital System (TICS), upon which the BIS LBS for the US is based.
Data Gaps identified during the GFC have been corrected to some extent. New improved data sets became available in 2015. Based on this new data, several new papers have been published by BIS.
From Enhanced data to analyse international banking
Banks have become larger and more complex over the past 25 years, offering multiple services and products through operations spanning the globe. Some rely heavily on wholesale or non-deposit sources of funding, often from non-bank financial intermediaries about whom information is sparse. Such changes in the international financial system were not well captured in historical data (BIS (2011)). This made it hard to analyse where, in which instruments and on which side of banks’ balance sheets vulnerabilities might emerge, and harder still to assess how vulnerabilities in one part of the financial system might affect other parts. In 2012, the Committee on the Global Financial System (CGFS), which oversees the collection of the BIS international banking statistics (IBS), approved a major set of enhancements to the IBS aimed at filling long-standing data gaps and better capturing the new financial landscape (CGFS (2012)). To a large extent, the enhancements were informed by the Great Financial Crisis of 2007–09, which revealed critical gaps in the information available to monitor and respond to financial stability risks.2 The basic thrust of the enhancements is twofold. First, they expand the coverage of banks’ balance sheets to include their domestic positions, not just their international activities. Second, they provide more information about the sector of banks’ counterparties, in particular banks’ exposures to and reliance on funding from non-bank financial counterparties. The remainder of this feature explains the enhancements in more detail and discusses a few analytical uses of the new data.
Overview of the enhancements
The IBS comprise two data sets – the locational banking statistics (LBS) and the consolidated banking statistics (CBS) – each collected using a different methodology. Jointly, they are a key source of information for assessing risks to financial stability, understanding banks’ role in the transmission of shocks across borders, and monitoring changes in internationally active banks’ business models. The principal use of the LBS is to analyse capital flows between countries. They capture the positions of banking offices located in 44 reporting countries on counterparties resident in each of over 200 countries. The LBS are collected following the same principles as national accounts and balance of payments, meaning that their compilation is based on the residence of entities and the data are not adjusted for intragroup or intrasector links. The CBS provide measures of internationally active banks’ country risk exposures. In contrast to the LBS, the CBS are compiled on a nationality basis, using the consolidated approach followed by banking supervisors. The business of offices that are part of the same banking group is consolidated and reported by the country where the controlling parent entity is located.3 Table 1 summarises the breakdowns reported in each data set, and a companion piece in this Review describes the LBS and CBS in more detail. The enhancements approved by the CGFS focused on five areas. First, in both the LBS and the CBS, the coverage of banks’ balance sheets was extended to domestic positions; previously, the data sets captured only banks’ international business. In the LBS, banks are now asked to report their local positions – positions against residents of the country where they are located – in local currency, to complement the existing data on local positions in foreign currencies.4 In the CBS, since end-2013, internationally active banks have reported their worldwide consolidated claims on residents of their home country – the country where the bank’s controlling parent is headquartered. Second, in the CBS, data for the funding side of banks’ consolidated balance sheets were introduced. Previously, very little liability-related information was collected in the CBS: only the local liabilities of banks’ foreign affiliates, and only those denominated in local currency. Since end-2013, banks have reported their total liabilities on a consolidated basis, with a breakdown by instrument.5 They also report their total equity, selected capital measures, and total assets (comprising financial and non-financial assets).
Third, in both the LBS and the CBS, the sectoral breakdown of counterparties was improved. The main improvement was to distinguish between non-bank financial counterparties and non-financial counterparties; previously, the two sectors were grouped together as non-bank entities.6 Banks are also asked to distinguish between different non-financial counterparties: non-financial corporations, households and governments. However, the reporting of the latter breakdown is encouraged, not required, and thus is incomplete (as discussed below). In the LBS, the breakdown of counterparties classified as banks was also improved. Since end- 2013, banks have reported different types of bank counterparties – related banking offices (or intragroup affiliates), unrelated banks and central banks – by residence of the counterparty.7 Fourth, the LBS were refined to provide more granular information by nationality of the reporting bank. In particular, since end-June 2012, four dimensions of data have been jointly reported: the residence and nationality of the reporting bank, the residence of the counterparty, and the currency in which positions are denominated. Previously, no more than three of the four dimensions were jointly reported in either the CBS or LBS (Table 2). Box 1 explains how these new data help clarify the geography of banks’ operations. The more granular information by nationality of the reporting bank is often composed of data reported by very few banks. For example, there are many banks in the United Kingdom that have claims on South Africa, and there are several Australian banks that have offices in the United Kingdom, but there may be only one or two Australian banks in the United Kingdom that have claims on South Africa. If an aggregate comprises data from only one or two banks, then its disclosure risks revealing proprietary information about those banks’ activities. Consequently, reporting authorities classify a significant part of the enhanced data that they report to the BIS as confidential. Such data cannot be disclosed by the BIS, but they can serve as building blocks in the construction of published aggregates that combine data from many reporting countries. While the enhancements made the residence and nationality of reporting banks and the residence of counterparties available simultaneously in the LBS, they did not make the distinction between data by residence and nationality redundant. In particular, the instrument breakdown – loans and deposits, debt securities and other instruments – continues to be reported only for LBS by residence (Table 2). The enhancements also refined the IBS in a number of smaller ways. Banks reporting the LBS are now encouraged to provide an expanded currency breakdown. To complement the LBS by nationality of reporting bank, data by type of bank – branch or subsidiary – are also reported, although without a detailed counterparty country breakdown of cross-border positions. In addition, the quality of the data was improved through closer alignment of reporting practices with the guidelines. For example, authorities in some reporting countries refined sectoral or other classifications. Such methodological changes have sometimes led to significant changes in reported outstanding positions. Finally, the BIS comprehensively revised the tables presenting the IBS so as to include data collected as part of the enhancements (Box 2). The enhancements also prompted the BIS to revisit the way in which some aggregates are calculated or presented, resulting in changes to previously published data (Box 3).
From Enhanced data to analyse international banking
From Enhanced data to analyse international banking
From Enhanced data to analyse international banking
From Recent enhancements to the BIS statistics
Locational banking statistics by reporting country
One of the enhancements to the international banking statistics (IBS) agreed by the Committee on the Global Financial System following the Great Financial Crisis of 2007–09 was to make the IBS more widely available (CGFS (2012)). The new tables and data published by the BIS in September 2015 were an important step in that direction (Avdjiev et al (2015)). The BIS and central banks continue to work towards publishing more data and improving the tools for accessing them.
Concurrently with this Quarterly Review, the BIS has started publishing more details at the reporting country level from the locational banking statistics (LBS), in particular the claims and liabilities of banks in individual reporting countries on counterparties in more than 200 countries. Previously, the BIS had made public only two types of aggregates in the LBS: the positions of banks in all reporting countries on counterparties in individual countries (Table A6 in the BIS Statistical Bulletin and the BIS Statistics Explorer), and the positions of banks in individual reporting countries on all counterparties abroad (Table A5). The BIS now discloses a matrix of reporting countries and counterparty countries, for the full history of the LBS. For example, whereas previously only the cross-border claims of all LBS-reporting banks on borrowers in China were published, now the location of those reporting banks is also disclosed. This information shows that, at end-March 2016, banks in Hong Kong SAR were the main creditors, accounting for 42% of cross-border claims on China’s mainland borrowers, followed by banks in Chinese Taipei with 9%.
Such geographical details can be used to analyse how shocks might propagate across sectors and borders. For example, they can help track how funds are transferred from sources in one country via banks to users in another. They can also shed light on the complexity of banks’ international operations.
When undertaking such analysis, it is very important to distinguish between the unconsolidated office-level view in the LBS and the consolidated group-level view in the consolidated banking statistics (CBS). The LBS capture the positions of banking offices located in a given country, following the same residency principles as national accounts and balance of payments. By contrast, the CBS capture the worldwide positions of banking groups headquartered in that country, using the consolidated approach followed by banking supervisors. Accordingly, the principal use of the LBS is to analyse capital flows between countries, whereas the CBS provide measures of banks’ country risk exposures.3
The published matrix of reporting countries and counterparty countries covers the cross-border positions of banks located in up to 29 LBS-reporting countries on counterparties in more than 200 countries. As many as eight series are publicly available in the LBS for each reporting-counterparty country pair: total claims and liabilities on counterparties in all sectors and the non-bank sector, and the same details for the instrument component loans and deposits. Selected series are published in Table A6 of the BIS Statistical Bulletin, and all the data can be downloaded from the BIS Statistics Explorer, the BIS Statistics Warehouse or in a single CSV file. A matrix of reporting countries and counterparty countries is also published for the CBS, in Table B4 of the BIS Statistical Bulletin.
Table below shows stock positions in different currencies by location and by sector.
From Currency networks in cross-border bank lending
From Currency networks in cross-border bank lending
At end-2014, the outstanding stock of BIS IBS cross-border bank claims totalled $28.5 trillion. Using the new dimensions in the Stage 1 data, we can simultaneously identify the nationality of the lending bank and the location of the borrower for 92% ($26.2 trillion) of the global total. Nearly three quarters ($19.3 trillion) of the bilaterally-identified claims represented lending by banks from advanced economies (AEs) to borrowers in AEs (Table 2). The second largest component of global crossborder bank lending was the one from AE banks to offshore centres – it stood at $3.5 trillion (or 13% of the global aggregate). “AE-to-EME” lending (ie lending by AE banks to EME borrowers) was also substantial – it amounted to $2.3 trillion (or 9% of global cross-border lending). Meanwhile, cross-border lending by EME banks, which has been growing rapidly over the past few years, stood at $1.1 trillion or around 4% of global cross-border claims. It was fairly evenly distributed among borrowers from AEs ($395 billion), EMEs ($351 billion) and offshore centres ($205 billion).
More than three-quarters of global cross-border claims were accounted for by lending in two major currencies: the US dollar and the euro. Claims denominated in US dollars alone equalled $13.0 trillion, or 45% of the global total. Meanwhile, crossborder lending denominated in euros stood at $9.0 trillion, or 31% of the global aggregate. The third largest currency denomination, the Japanese yen accounts for only around 5% of the global total. At the aggregate level, the above currency shares are remarkably stable across counterparty sectors (Table 3). The US dollar shares of global cross-border lending to banks (46%) and non-banks (45%) are virtually the same. The same is true for the respective euro shares, with both at 31%. In the case of yen, the difference is more pronounced: cross-border lending to non-banks (6.4%) is almost twice as high as interbank lending (3.6%).
The variation in the currency composition of cross-border lending across locations is considerably larger (Table 3). In terms of lending to advanced economies, the US dollar and euro shares are roughly equal at 41% and 39%, respectively. Approximately half of US dollar-denominated bank lending to advanced economies is accounted for by cross-border claims on residents of the United States ($4.1 trillion). Similarly, the majority ($5.7 trillion) of euro-denominated cross-border bank lending is directed towards borrowers in the euro area – and most ($3.8 trillion) of that amount represents intra-euro area cross-border claims. Outside the United States and the euro area, the US dollar and the euro still dominate lending to advanced economies, albeit with somewhat smaller shares (36% and 25%, respectively).
Lending to EMEs tends to be primarily denominated in US dollars as well. The proportion of cross-border claims on EMEs denominated in US dollars (47%) is more than four times higher than that of the euro (11%). Nevertheless, the aggregate EME numbers mask considerable variations across regions. The US dollar accounts for the majority of the claims on Latin America and on Africa and the Middle East (73% and 61%, respectively). Yet, it accounts for less than half (41%) of the lending to emerging Asia and less than a third (30%) of the lending to emerging Europe. In fact, emerging Europe is the only EME region where the euro is the leading currency with around 41% of all claims. The share of yen is negligible at around 1% of lending to all four EME regions.
The dominance of the US dollar is most pronounced in cross-border claims on offshore centres with a share of nearly two thirds (63%) of the total. Conversely, the respective share for the Japanese yen is merely 11%. The share of the euro is even smaller at 8%.
From Drivers of cross-border banking since the Global Crisis
Since the Global Crisis, international credit markets have become more segmented. Figure 1 illustrates the development of cross-border bank claims over the last years; after a continuous and steep increase, the Crisis has led to a retrenchment in cross-border bank lending. Yet, international lending has evolved heterogeneously across regions. While cross-border lending to developing and emerging economies has increased again, foreign bank claims to developed countries have rather continued to decrease.
Even if part of the retrenchment in cross-border bank claims was cyclical, part of the adjustment seems to be structural as the economic recovery did not go along with a notable increase in total foreign bank claims.
What role do policy changes play for adjustments in cross-border bank claims?
The adjustments in international bank lending have led to a debate on how recent policy interventions have affected international capital flows in the aftermath of the crisis.
On the one hand, different observers stress the role of changes in financial regulation for the international activities of banks.
After the experiences of the recent Crisis, national regulators may aim at a lower degree of banking globalisation to facilitate the resolution of large, internationally active banks, and hence to better protect taxpayers from potential losses (The Economist 2012). Using bank-level data for the UK banking sector, Rose and Wieladek (2011) have analysed the implications of bank nationalisations for international lending. They present evidence that foreign banks that profited from government support have cut back their lending to the UK. Thus, part of the retrenchment in international bank lending may be due to increased financial protectionism since the crisis.
On the other hand, the effects of monetary policy on capital flows – especially to emerging markets – have been intensely debated.
Among others, Bernanke (2013) has pointed out that in an environment of low interest rates, banks may tend to lean their foreign activities towards higher-yielding markets. Nier and Saadi Sedik (2014) point out that managing the large and volatile capital inflows since the Crisis has been costly for emerging markets.
In a recent study (Bremus and Fratzscher 2014), we add to this debate by investigating the effects of policy-related drivers of changes in cross-border bank lending since the Global Crisis.
The first question we address is how shifts in banking regulations have affected international bank lending in the wake of the Crisis.
As illustrated by Figure 2, bank capital regulation has, on average, become stricter since the Crisis. In general, tighter regulatory requirements may have different implications for banks’ international lending business. An increase in capital requirements in the source country of cross-border credit may lead to a reduction in credit outflows if banks cut back risky foreign lending activities in order to deleverage. However, stricter regulations in the source country could also lead to an increase in foreign lending activities to countries where regulation is more lenient. Using data from the pre-crisis period, Houston et al. (2012) indeed find that differences in banking regulation are important push and pull factors of cross-border bank lending; banks are attracted by countries with a less restrictive regulatory environment.
In order to study policy-related drivers of changes in international lending between the pre- and the post-Crisis period, we use bilateral credit data for 46 countries from the Bank for International Settlements for the period 2005-2012. Information on capital stringency, supervisory power, and supervisory independence is available from Barth et al. (2013). Following the literature, the years until 2007 can be classified as the ‘pre-crisis’ period, while the years as of 2010 are classified as the ‘post-crisis’ phase. We use a cross-sectional regression model where all variables are expressed as the change between the average across 2005-2007 and the average across 2010-2012.
Our results indicate that regulatory policy has been an important driver of adjustments in cross-border banking since the Global Crisis.
Source countries of bilateral credit which have seen a larger increase in supervisory power or independence have extended more cross-border credit. Put differently, the more independent or powerful supervisors got, the less severe was the reduction in cross-border credit in the aftermath of the Crisis. Another interpretation for this result is that stricter regulation in the source country has led to more cross-border lending due to regulatory arbitrage.
With respect to bank capital regulation, the estimation results are similar when the whole country sample is considered. Yet, the larger the differential in capital stringency between the source and the recipient country of cross-border credit in the Eurozone got, the lower the increase (or the larger the reduction) in cross-border lending between these countries.
In a second part, we examine which role expansionary monetary policy – as measured by reserve deposits of commercial banks held at central banks – has played for bilateral cross-border lending.
Aggregate reserves at central banks reflect the size of monetary policy interventions (Keister and McAndrews 2009). The more accommodative monetary policy has been since the Crisis, the larger was the increase in total reserves. The estimation results reveal that a larger expansion in source countries’ reserve deposits have come along with smaller reductions (or, larger increases) in credit outflows. Hence, the findings suggest that monetary policy has mitigated credit market fragmentation in the aftermath of the Global Crisis.
Our results show that regulatory and monetary policy changes have been important drivers of adjustments in cross-border bank lending since the crisis. While expansionary monetary policy measures have mitigated credit market fragmentation, regulatory policy changes have had mixed effects, depending on the measure and region considered.
More independent and powerful supervisory authorities tend to promote international lending. Our findings indicate that capital regulation should be adjusted in a harmonised and transparent way in order to avoid distortionary lending behaviour, especially in the Eurozone.
From The currency dimension of the bank lending channel in international monetary transmission
In this paper, we add to the existing literature on the cross-border bank lending channel of monetary policy by examining how the use of a currency in cross-border lending transmits monetary policy-induced monetary shocks across countries. We do so by using new and unique data on bilateral cross-border lending flows across a wide array of source banking systems and target countries, broken down by currency denomination (USD, EUR and JPY).
We obtain three main results.
First, monetary policy-induced monetary shocks in a currency significantly affect cross-border bank lending flows in that currency, even when neither the lending banking system nor the borrowing country uses that currency as their own. This is what we call the currency dimension of the bank lending channel.
Second, we find that this currency dimension of the bank lending channel works primarily through lending to non-banks.
Third, we find that these currency effects work similarly across the three main currencies, that is, the transmission effects are present in EUR and JPY-lending as much as in USD-lending. All these results are robust across our various specifications, including IV estimations.26
We hope that our results will help policymakers and researchers gain further insight into how the global use of currencies transmits monetary policy shocks through the international banking system. In particular, our results suggest that when policymakers in borrowing countries think about external spillovers to their economies they should explicitly consider the currency denomination of the cross-border claims.
KeySources of Research:
Estimating Global Bank Network Connectedness
Mert Demirer Laura Liu
.Francis X. Diebold Kamil Ylmaz
A network analysis of global banking: 1978–2009
Camelia Minoiu and Javier A. Reyes
Global Banks and Transmission
Crisis Transmission in the Global Banking Network
Tu ̈mer Kapan
December 31, 2014
Currency networks in cross-border bank lending
Stefan Avdjiev and Előd Takáts
Monetary policy spillovers and currency networks in cross-border bank lending
by Stefan Avdjiev and Előd Takáts
WITHDRAWAL FROM CORRESPONDENT BANKING
WHERE, WHY, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Correspondence course: Charting a future for US-dollar clearing and correspondent banking through analytics
The Withdrawal of Correspondent Banking Relationships: A Case for Policy Action
Michaela Erbenová, Yan Liu, Nadim Kyriakos-Saad, Alejandro López-Mejía, Giancarlo Gasha, Emmanuel Mathias, Mohamed Norat, Francisca Fernando, and Yasmin Almeida
FSB action plan to assess and address the decline in correspondent banking
End-2016 progress report and next steps
19 December 2016
Improving the BIS international banking statistics
Enhancements to the BIS international banking statistics
Stefan Avdjiev, Patrick McGuire and Philip Wooldridge
The Dollar Shortage, Again! in International Wholesale Money Markets
During the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, There were many European Banks which got into trouble due to shortage of US Dollar funding in the whole sale international interbank market. US Federal Reserve eventually extended currency swaps to ECB and other central banks to ease the pressure.
Is it happening now? There is no banking crisis but there seems to be Dollar Shortage.
Foreign Exposure of European Banks
Liquidity Constraints in Global Money Markets (International Interbank Market)
Non US Borrowers got funding from FX Market
and Non Bank Sources (Shadow Banking)
Funding and liquidity management
Funding can be defined as the sourcing of liabilities. Funding decisions are usually, but not exclusively, taken in view of actual or planned changes in a financial institution’s assets. The funding strategy sets out how a bank intends to remain fully funded at the minimum cost consistent with its risk appetite. Such a strategy must balance cost efficiency and stability. A strategy which targets a broader funding base may entail higher operating and funding costs, but through diversity provides more stable, reliable funding. One which focuses efforts on generating home currency funding may prove more reliable in adverse times but entail higher costs in normal markets. The balance of cost and benefit will reflect a range of factors (see Section 3). Accordingly, funding risk essentially refers to a bank’s (in-)ability to raise funds in the desired currencies on an ongoing basis. Liquidity management is the management of cash flows across an institution’s balance sheet (and possibly across counterparties and locations). It involves the control of maturity/currency mismatches and the management of liquid asset holdings. A bank’s liquidity management strategy sets out limits on such mismatches and the level of liquid assets to be retained to ensure that the bank remains able to meet funding obligations with immediacy across currencies and locations, while still reflecting the bank’s preferred balance of costs (eg of acquiring term liabilities or holding low-yielding liquid assets) and risks (associated with running large maturity or currency mismatches). Accordingly, liquidity risk refers to a bank’s (in-)ability to raise sufficient funds in the right currency and location to finance cash outflows at any given point in time. Funding and liquidity management are interrelated. Virtually every transaction has implications for a bank’s funding needs and, more immediately, for its liquidity management. The maturity transformation role of banks renders them intrinsically vulnerable to both institution-specific and market-related cash flow risks. The likelihood of an unexpected cash-flow shock occurring, and a bank’s ability to cope with it, will reflect not only the adequacy of its funding and liquidity management strategies, but also their coherence under stressed conditions. A bank’s funding strategy will condition liquidity management needs. Hence, the risks embedded in the chosen funding strategy will translate into risks that liquidity management will have to address. Failure to properly manage funding risk may suddenly manifest itself as a liquidity problem, should those sources withdraw funding at short notice. Conversely, inadequate liquidity risk management may place unmanageable strains on a bank’s funding strategy by requiring very large amounts of funding to be raised at short notice.
From The Global Financial Crisis and Offshore Dollar Markets
The Global Shortage of U.S. Dollars
International firms need U.S. dollars to fund their investments in U.S.-dollar-denominated assets, such as retail and corporate loans as well as securities holdings. The funding for these investments is typically obtained from a variety of sources: the unsecured cash markets, the FX swap market, and other shortterm wholesale funding markets.
During the financial crisis, a global shortage of dollars occurred, primarily reflecting the funding needs of European banks. Baba, McCauley, and Ramaswamy (2009) show that European banks had substantially increased their U.S. dollar asset positions from about $2 trillion in 1999 to more than $8 trillion by mid-2007. Until the onset of the crisis, these banks had met their funding requirements mainly by borrowing from the unsecured cash and commercial paper markets and by using FX swaps. Unfortunately, most unsecured funding sources eroded during the crisis. For example, U.S. money market funds abruptly stopped purchasing bank-issued commercial paper after they faced large redemptions associated with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers (Baba, McCauley, and Ramaswamy 2009). The reduced availability of dollars resulted in higher dollar funding costs.
The remainder of this article describes the increase in dollar funding costs as reflected in the FX swap market, the primary market enabling global financial institutions to manage multi- currency funding exposures without assuming the credit risk inherent in unsecured funding markets. As liquidity in major unsecured lending markets eroded, the demand for dollar funding through FX swap markets intensified sharply and pushed up the cost of raising dollars through FX swaps. Moreover, heightened demand for dollar funding in conjunction with a reduced willingness to lend dollars noticeably impaired the functioning of the FX swap market, particularly as term liquidity dried up.
Measures of Liquidity Tightening
FX Swap implied basis spread
Two measures are used to show the increased cost of dollar funds in private markets during the crisis.
The first is the spread between the London interbank offered rate (Libor) and the overnight index swap (OIS) rate.
The second measure is the foreign exchange (FX) swap implied basis spread, which reflects the cost of funding dollar positions by borrowing foreign currency and converting it into dollars through an FX swap.
What are the Money Markets
Wholesale money markets
Unsecured cash term deposits and loans
Money market calculations and conventions
Benchmark rates and their determination
Overnight indexed rates such as Eonia and Sonia
Treasury bills (a first look at risk-free)
Commercial Paper – CP credit ratings
Secured money market loans – sale and repurchase agreements (Repos)
Money market derivatives
Short term interest rate futures (STIRs): Eurodollar, Short Sterling and Euribor futures
Forward rate agreements
Interest rate swaps
Overnight index swaps (OIS): Sonia and Eonia swaps
Monetary policy and the money markets
How a central bank uses money markets to transmit its interest rate intentions.
OTC US Dollar Money Markets: Sources of short term Funding
A. Fed Funds Market (Domestic)
B. Interbank Money Market
Market for Short Term Securities
Market for Derivatives
Unsecured – Eurodollar
Secured – REPO
Secured (Collateralized markets) – FX Swap Market
Short Term Securities Market
Certificate of Deposits
Interest Rates Swaps
Money Markets in EU
In the unsecured market, activity is concentrated on the overnight maturity segment. The reference rate in this segment is the Eonia (Euro Overnight Index Average). It is a market index computed as the weighted average of overnight unsecured lending transactions undertaken by a representative panel of banks. The same panel banks contributing to the Eonia also quote for the Euribor (Euro Interbank Offered Rate). The Euribor is the rate at which euro interbank term deposits are offered by one prime bank to another prime bank. This is the reference rate for maturities of one, two and three weeks and for twelve maturities from one to twelve months.11
The market for short term securities includes government securities (Treasury bills) and private securities (mainly commercial paper and bank certificates of deposits).
In the market for derivatives, typically interest rate swaps and futures are traded.
Is it happening again?
Policy Decisions such as
Rising Interest Rates
Repatriation of Corporate profits from Europe
Unwillingness to extend of CB Swap Lines
can cause liquidity crisis which show up in
Breakdown of CIP – Then and Now
A brief history of the three key periods of global USD-funding shortfalls:
The first episode immediately after the Lehman bankruptcy coincided with a US banking crisis that quickly became a global banking crisis via cross border linkages. Financial globalization meant that Japanese banks had accumulated a large amount of dollar assets during the 1980s and 1990s. Similarly European banks accumulating a large amount of dollar assets during 2000s created structural US dollar funding needs. The Lehman crisis made both European and Japanese banks less creditworthy in dollar funding markets and they had to pay a premium to convert euro or yen funding into dollar funding as they were unable to access dollar funding markets directly.
The second episode of very negative dollar basis took place during the Euro debt crisis. The sovereign crisis created a banking crisis making Euro area banks less worthy from a counterparty/credit risk point of view in dollar funding markets. As dollar funding markets including fx swap markets dried up, these funding needs took the form of an acute dollar shortage. European banks and companies that had dollar assets to fund had to pay a hefty premium in fx swap markets to convert their euro funding into dollar funding. Those European banks and companies that were unable to do so, were forced to liquidate dollar assets such as dollar denominated bonds and loans to reduce their need for dollar funding
The third phase of very negative dollar basis started at the end of last year. Monetary policy divergence has for sure played a role during the end of 2014 and the beginning of this year. The ECB’s and BoJ’s QE has created an imbalance between supply and demand across funding markets. Funding conditions have become a lot easier outside the US with QE-driven liquidity injections raising the supply of euro and yen funding vs. dollar funding. This divergence manifested itself as one-sided order flow in cross currency swap markets causing a decline in the basis. And we did see these funding imbalances in cross border corporate issuance.
Emergent and Related Issues:
Offshore Dollar Money Markets
International Lender of Last Resort
FX Swaps and Currency Swaps Market
Cross border funding
International Interbank Market
Shadow Banking – MMMF, ABCP,
LIBOR EURIBOR TIBOR
Covered Interest Parity (CIP) Breakdown
Wholesale Funding Market
Impact of Global Liquidity on Global Trade
Credit Networks of Global Banks
International Investment Positions of Banks
Derisking by global banks
Decline in Correspondent Banking
Shortage of Trade Finance
Why has Global Trade dropped so precipitously since 2014?
Is it because of shortage of US Dollars?
Key Sources of Research:
“This Is An Extremely Serious Problem” – Dollar Funding Shortage Hits Record In Japan
Understanding Global OTC Foreign Exchange (FX) Market
OTC FX Market is biggest market in the world. About 5.1 trillion USD are traded in this market every day.
Originally all FX transactions were for cross border trades in goods and services, but later on developments led to speculative investments activities in foreign currencies.
OTC FX Market is decentralized. It means there is no exchange on which currencies are traded. Interbank market in FX is among dealer banks. Dealer Banks are the biggest global banks. Top 10 banks who trade in FX have total trade volume of 67%.
USD is the dominant currency in global FX market. UK is the biggest location for FX trading followed by USA and Singapore. Hong Kong SAR and Japan are other important FX trading centers.
Markets operate 24/7 unlike other financial markets which open and close at certain times.
Bank of International Settlement publishes its triennial survey of global FX markets. 2016 survey showed 5.1 trillion USD/day FX turnover down from 5.3 T/Day back in 2013 survey. Markets peaked in September of 2014 at 6.5 Trillion USD/day. Since then the trend is declining. De-risking by global banks, decline in global trade are cited as main reasons for decline. Will attempt to understand this issue at a later date.
Following Issues emerge from this post but are not discussed here in detail.
Retail FX Market
Non Bank High Frequency Liquidity Providers
FX Prime Brokerage
Financial Stability in OTC Market – Case for CCP
China RMB Internationalization
Clearing and Settlement in FX Markets – CLS Bank and CLSNet
Liquidity for FX trades – Funding and Market Liquidity
Highlights from the 2016 Triennial Survey of turnover in OTC foreign exchange markets:
Trading in foreign exchange markets averaged $5.1 trillion per day in April 2016. This is down from $5.4 trillion in April 2013, a month which had seen heightened activity in Japanese yen against the background of monetary policy developments at that time.
For first time since 2001, spot turnover declined. Spot transactions fell to $1.7 trillion per day in April 2016 from $2.0 trillion in 2013. In contrast, the turnover of FX swaps rose further, reaching $2.4 trillion per day in April 2016. This rise was driven in large part by increased trading of FX swaps involving yen.
The US dollar remained the dominant vehicle currency, being on one side of 88% of all trades in April 2016. The euro, yen and Australian dollar all lost market share. In contrast, many emerging market currencies increased their share. The renminbi doubled its share, to 4%, to become the world’s eighth most actively traded currency and the most actively traded emerging market currency, overtaking the Mexican peso. The rise in the share of renminbi was primarily due to the increase in trading against the US dollar. In April 2016, as much as 95% of renminbi trading volume was against the US dollar.
The share of trading between reporting dealers grew over the three-year period, accounting for 42% of turnover in April 2016, compared with 39% in April 2013. Banks other than reporting dealers accounted for a further 22% of turnover. Institutional investors were the third largest group of counterparties in FX markets, at 16%.
In April 2016, sales desks in five countries – the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Japan – intermediated 77% of foreign exchange trading, up from 75% in April 2013 and 71% in April 2010.
Interbank (OTC) Market Infrastructure and Institutions
Top 10 Banks in FX
From All change in the 2016 Euromoney FX rankings
Citi holds on to the top ranking in this year’s Euromoney foreign exchange rankings, but elsewhere there have been unprecedented shifts.
Structural changes to the markets, management upheaval among many big banks, new non-bank entrants and lack of volumes and volatility have seemingly levelled the playing field among the industry’s biggest firms.
The biggest change in the rankings this year is the decline of the combined market share of the top five global banks. Their market share in the survey peaked in 2009 at 61.5% and was still above 60% as recently as 2014.
This year the top five banks account for just 44.7% of total volume. The hopes of many global FX heads and their investment bank bosses – that the share of the big banks would rise inexorably as the market became more automated and that they would be able to benefit from oligopolistic pricing power as a result – now seem like distant and deluded dreams.
One FX veteran tells Euromoney that the decline of the top five banks’ combined market share “is exactly what the regulators would want in a market they continue to keep a very close eye on.”
While the market share of the top 10 FX houses overall also declines, from over 75% last year to just 66% this year, the fall is entirely due to the performance of the top five banks. The banks ranked from sixth to 10th place overall produced a combined market share of 22%, roughly in line with the last five years of the survey and considerably higher than the 14% they managed in 2008.
Citi actually extends its lead over the second-placed bank in the survey, which market participants regard as the most accurate reflection of client-based activity in the global foreign exchange markets, to more than four percentage points – even though the bank’s own market share declined by more than three percentage points, from 16.11% in the 2015 survey to 12.91% of trading in 2016.
That winning market share is the lowest for any top-ranked bank in the survey since UBS won the survey in 2004.
Citi maintained its leadership overall in important product areas such as spot/forwards and swaps, as well as in the key real money and bank client categories. It rises one place this year to win in corporates and overall electronic market share, although it falls to third overall for options.
One big story in this year’s rankings is the decline of Deutsche Bank. It was once the undisputed leader in global foreign exchange, losing the top position in the Euromoney rankings three years ago after nearly a decade of dominance.
While new group CEO John Cryan has gone out of his way both publicly and privately to describe the FX business as one of the beleaguered bank’s crown jewels, the days when Deutsche Bank was able to secure an overall market share of more than 20% (as recently as 2009) are long gone.
In the latest set of rankings, Deutsche falls from second to fourth place overall: its market share of 7.86% is almost half what it was a year ago. Deutsche’s decline is widespread, and competitors say has been driven in part by the bank cutting back on the number of clients it covers. It falls from second to fifth in spot/forward; from second to eighth among real money clients and loses top spot among bank clients. It remains the leading overall options house.
Perhaps the most surprising fall of all is in its overall electronic market share. Deutsche’s Autobahn system revolutionized global FX trading and in banner years accounted for more than a quarter of all electronic trading. This year, Deutsche can only manage fourth place in e-market share, from holding the top ranking last year, and its share has fallen from 17.5% to 8.73%.
Two banks overtake Deutsche to move into the top three overall, but the similarities end there: the two banks in question have very different recent histories in global foreign exchange.
JPMorgan jumps to second place in the survey, with a market share of 8.77%, up from fourth place with 7.65% last year. For many years, competitors have said that JPMorgan has failed to punch its weight in FX; it has typically ranked outside the top five overall banks in the Euromoney survey for the last decade. Those accusations have less weight now, even though they have been replaced by rumours about the bank’s competitive pricing strategy.
The US bank rises across a range of categories. Its most notable successes are winning the leveraged fund category with a lead over second-placed UBS of almost eight percentage points and a market share of more than 18%; and jumping from fifth to second place in overall electronic trading. JPMorgan’s one poor ranking is now in options, where it comes a lowly eighth.
UBS returns to the top three global FX banks overall this year. A winner back in 2004, it has been outside the top three since 2009, and last challenged for the top spot overall a year earlier, when its market share of almost 16% was only beaten by Deutsche. Last year it fell to fifth place, its worst performance in a decade, with a market share of 7.3%.
Given the bank’s leadership has spent the last few years de-emphasizing the role of its investment bank, some competitors believed UBS was on a long, slow decline in FX.
But, quietly and consistently, UBS’s markets business has been recalibrating to the new capital and markets environment, as well as maintaining a commitment to best-in-class electronic platforms. Its overall market share rises to 8.76%; and it breaks into the top three overall in spot/forward, swaps, electronic market share and for bank clients. Like JPMorgan, it is a laggard in options, where it ranks seventh.
JPMorgan and UBS have one other important thing in common: while other banks have lost entire benches of senior management from their FX teams in recent years, JPMorgan and UBS have been relatively stable.
At the former, Troy Rohrbach has overseen the FX business since 2005 (he now also runs rates and public finance globally); at UBS, Chris Murphy and George Athanasopoulos, the global co-heads of FX, rates and credit, both joined the bank more than five years ago and have jointly run the division since 2013. Leadership, it seems, does count.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch continues its steady rise up the rankings of recent years, from a nadir of 12th place from 2009 to 2012. It finally breaks into the top five global FX houses overall, up from sixth place last year.
BAML jumped up the rankings into the top five for corporates and real money accounts, and gained ground in both swaps and options – in the latter, it ranks second globally. But BAML still has work to do in the electronic market, where its overall ranking fell from sixth to seventh place. Other US banks also performed well.
Goldman Sachs rose from ninth to seventh overall and Morgan Stanley jumped three places to break back into the top 10.
It has not been a good year in FX for Barclays. Perhaps the bank’s decision to not have a global head of foreign exchange has backfired. The UK-cum-transatlantic bank dropped from third place overall to sixth, and its market share from 8.11% to 5.67%.
Barclays slipped three places to seventh in spot/forward, four places to seventh in swaps and three places to ninth in options. Among client groups, its biggest reversal came among real money accounts, falling from fourth place last year to outside the top 10.
HSBC has also had a disappointing year, falling from seventh to eighth place overall. It also loses its top ranking among corporates last year, falling out of the top five of that client category altogether. Electronic trading remains the bank’s weakest link, and may even be getting weaker, as the bank falls to ninth place in overall e-market share.
Banks have always risen and fallen in the Euromoney rankings over the last 40 years, but this year sees a new phenomenon – the advent of the non-bank liquidity provider. Leading the way is XTX Markets, a spin-off of GSA Capital, whose co-CEO Zar Amrolia was a frequent winner of the Euromoney FX rankings in his previous role as head of Deutsche Bank’s FX business.
In its first year of eligibility, the spot-only XTX makes a stunning debut: ninth place in the overall rankings with a market share of 3.87%; fourth in spot/forwards; fifth for bank clients; third for FX trading platforms; fifth overall for e-market share; and third for electronic trading of spot, ahead of Deutsche Bank with a market share of more than 10%.
XTX is the leader, but not the only non-bank entrant to the survey. Tower Research Capital, Jump Trading, Virtu Financial, Lucid Markets and Citadel Securities all make the top 50 overall market share rankings.
XTX’s ninth place overall looks like a line in the sand for the FX markets. The banks above it are, for the most part, the remaining price-makers; the banks below often price-takers, with the ability to make markets in particular currencies or products.
Many of the banks ranked outside the top 10 overall this year are understood to be sourcing liquidity from non-bank providers such as XTX, Tower and Jump. They look set to gain more market share in the future, helped by new technology, more defined business models and a lower-cost infrastructure base than the traditional FX banks. They could look to build capability in forwards and other markets in the near future.
Among multi-dealer platforms, Thomson Reuters – through its FXall service – remains the clear leader with a 30% market share, although its margin over second-ranked FXConnect almost halved. The big riser among MDPs was third-ranked HotspotFXi, which increased its market share from less than 7% to almost 18% this year.
Total volumes in the Euromoney FX survey came in at almost $95 trillion, while the number of votes held steady compared with last year at around 3,500 clients. That represents a volume fall of around 23% on last year, in line with market expectations.
Electronic FX platforms
There are three types of trading platforms.
Trading platforms can be divided into three different types:
Inter-dealer electronic broking platforms. These platforms were developed in the 1990s and are regarded, according to the Bank for international Settlements (BiS, 2010), as the dominant source of interbank liquidity on the foreign exchange market. They mediate information on various market makers’ indicative prices. EBS and Reuters, based in London, are the two dominant platforms within this category.
Multi-bank platforms. These platforms are also known as multi-bank ECNs (electronic communication networks). They were created in the first decade of this century and resemble the previous category in that they mediate several market makers’ prices. one difference is that they have freer access regulations for market makers, which makes it easier for market makers to join these platforms. Another difference is that they are largely used outside the interbank market, which is to say by market participants that are not banks. The US platforms Fx All, currenex, Hotspot Fx, State Street and Fx connect are examples of this type of trading platform. There are also platforms that provide standardised algorithmic trading functions as a service. currenex is one such platform.
Single-bank platforms. This type of platform is run by an individual bank. The platform mediates only the individual bank’s own prices for various currency pairs, unlike the trading platforms discussed above, which mediate several market makers’ prices. in Sweden, SeB has a platform of this type, SeB Trading Station. other examples of banks with such platforms are JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and citibank.
A. Multi Dealer Platforms
J.P. Morgan has significantly increased its footprint on these platforms over the past couple of years and now ranks first for penetration globally, followed closely by Citi. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and HSBC round out the top five most prominent banks on MDPs.
B. Single Dealer Platforms
While multi-dealer systems are clearly on the rise, an average of more than 20% of trading volume of banks and hedge funds is still executed on single-bank platforms. Barclays, Citi and Deutsche Bank are the clear top three most actively used single-dealer platforms globally.
“Proprietary platforms give banks a means of retaining profitable trading volumes, so dealers are expanding these systems to provide a range of liquidity choices that enable clients to access the market in a variety of ways, including disclosed and non-disclosed liquidity, agency and principal trades, and links to exchange-based execution,” says Greenwich Associates Managing Director Woody Canaday.
C. Algorithmic Trading
Dealers are also in the early days of what promises to be an all-out arms race in algorithmic trading. Currently only 13% of top-tier FX customers use algorithmic trading models. However, that share approaches one-quarter among the market’s biggest buy-side participants and 30% among hedge funds.
Two trends suggest that algorithmic trading is gaining traction in FX. First, market participants that use algo-rithmic models are tapping an expanding number of dealers for algorithms. Second, current users are routing growing shares of trading volume through the models, from 25% in 2014 to 28% in 2015. Hedge funds that trade algorithmically now use these models for about half of total trading volume.
A. Inter-dealer electronic broking platforms
Reuters Dealing 3000
EBS is the primary trading venue for EUR/USD, USD/JPY, EUR/JPY, USD/CHF, EUR/CHF and USD/CNH.
Thomson Reuters Matching is the primary trading venue for commonwealth (AUD/USD, NZD/USD, USD/CAD) and emerging market currency pairs.
EBS was created by a partnership of the world’s largest foreign exchange (FX) market making banks in 1990 to challenge Reuters’ threatened monopoly in interbank spot foreign exchange and provide effective competition. By 2007, approximately US$164 billion in spot foreign exchange transactions were traded every day over EBS’s central limit order book, EBS Market.
EBS’s closest competitor is Reuters Dealing 3000 Spot Matching. The decision by an FX trader whether to use EBS or Thomson Reuters Matching is driven largely by currency pair. In practice, EBS is the primary trading venue for EUR/USD, USD/JPY, EUR/JPY, USD/CHF, EUR/CHF and USD/CNH, and Thomson Reuters Matching is the primary trading venue for commonwealth (AUD/USD, NZD/USD, USD/CAD) and emerging market currency pairs.
EBS initiated e-trading in spot precious metals, spanning spot gold, silver, platinum and palladium, and remains the leading electronic broker in spot gold and silver through the Loco London Market.
They were the first organisation to facilitate orderly black box or algorithmic trading in spot FX, through an application programming interface (API). By 2007 this accounted for 60% of all EBS flow.
In addition to spot FX and Precious Metals, EBS has expanded trading products through its venues to include NDFs, forwards and FX options. It has also increased the range of trading style to include RFQ and streaming in disclosed and non-disclosed environments.
EBS was acquired by ICAP, the world’s largest inter-dealer broker, in June 2006. ICAP said that the acquisition would combine EBS’ strengths in electronic spot foreign exchange with ICAP’s Electronic Broking business to create a single global multi-product business with further growth potential and significant economies of scale. It went on to say that would provide customers with more efficient electronic trade execution, reduced integration costs and give access to broad liquidity across a wide product range.
In 2014, EBS merged with BrokerTec – a leading service provider in the fixed income markets – to form EBS BrokerTec. BrokerTec’s offering comprises trading solutions for many US and European fixed income products including US Treasuries, European Government Bonds and European Repo.
EBS BrokerTec is now recognised as a market-leading e-trading technology and solutions provider, offering access to multiple execution options and diverse, valuable liquidity across the FX and fixed income markets.
ICAP EBS is one of the world’s premier inter-dealer brokers with average daily transaction volume in excess of USD 2.3 trillion.
ICAP’s electronic EBS platform provides the primary market of natural interest for more than 2800 global FX, Precious Metals and NDF traders.
ICAP EBS global access platform delivers anonymous, transparent and reliable FX Liquidity.
Authoritative real-time and historical market data.
Available for clearing only. Relationship with EBS required.
B. Multidealer Platforms – FX ECNs
Since 1999, banks have been developing proprietary systems for their customers to trade foreign exchange and access research material over the internet. To trade with multiple banks online, customers therefore need to use a variety of authentication methods, websites and price request methods. Multi-bank platforms have evolved to allow customers to use a single website to request prices simultaneously from multiple banks and view research material online. Multi-bank platforms (also known as ECNs or electronic communication networks) offer significant advantages to customers, but fewer advantages to banks, and therefore active participation by banks in multi-bank platforms is driven largely by customer demand. However, for the banks it remains preferable for their customers to trade through bank proprietary systems as the banks avoid paying brokerage and customers are encouraged to focus only on the particular bank’s prices.
There are five main customer-facing FX ECNs:
FXall – founded by Bank of America, Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and UBS
Currenex – independent and venture backed by major market participants, e.g. Barclays Capital and Royal Dutch/Shell
FX Connect – owned by State Street
360T – independent and venture backed by financial and major private investors
Hotspot FXi – independent privately held venture capital-backed company
Currency Trading Shifts to Multi-Dealer Systems, Greenwich Says
July 14, 2015, 11:28 AM EDT
Currency investors are increasingly using electronic systems connected to multiple dealers as the market comes under greater scrutiny by regulators, according to Greenwich Associates.
Institutional investors and large corporations executed 49 percent of their foreign-exchange trading volumes on multi-dealer platforms last year, up from 45 percent in 2013 and 38 percent in 2008, the Stamford, Connecticut-based consultant said in a report. The increase comes as trading by traditional methods, such as phone, instant messaging and single-dealer platforms, has fallen.
“The FX ‘fixing scandal’ and related bank fines have already played a part in changing buy-side behavior,” wrote Kevin McPartland, head of research for market structure and technology at Greenwich, who co-authored the report based on interviews with more than 1,600 people participating in foreign-exchange markets globally.
Asset-management companies are boosting electronic trading as regulatory scrutiny discourages banks and dealers from providing “market color” to clients to avoid any perception of impropriety, according to Greenwich. The platforms are also becoming more popular as banks become less active in currency markets because of rising capital requirements.
“Asset managers have proactively worked to beef up internal policies to both ensure maximum returns for the impacted funds and to reassure customers, such as pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, that they’re getting the best the market has to offer at that moment in time,” McPartland wrote.
Thomson Reuters Corp.’s FXall platform had the largest volume-weighted share of trading last year at 21 percent, according to Greenwich. It’s followed in popularity by 360T, State Street Corp.’s Currenex, Bloomberg LP’s FXGO and FX Connect.
State Street FX Connect
Thomson Reuters FXall
State Street Currenex
CBOE/BATS Hotspot FX
C. Single Dealer FX Trading Platforms
Morgan Stanley Matrix
Best Single-Dealer FX Trading Platform
Financial News is delighted to announce the . The winners will be announced at a gala dinner in London in October.
Here are the nominees in the category of Best Single-Dealer FX Trading Platform:
The BARX platform remains a dominant force among single-dealer platforms, with streaming prices in more than 80 currencies and 480 currency pairs, with a wide range of products available. Following the launch of BARX Gator, a liquidity aggregator, Barclays now gives clients access to the increasingly popular agency-style of execution.
Since its relaunch in 2012, Citi Velocity 2.0 has become a leading source of single-bank liquidity in FX cash, options and rates trading. Citi has also led the adoption of mobile and tablet technology in this space, and has focused its efforts with Velocity on delivering speed, lower transaction costs, cross-asset information, cross-asset trading, deep liquidity, and desktop efficiency.
Deutsche Bank Autobahn
Deutsche Bank has channelled significant resources into its electronic trading franchise in recent years, and Autobahn remains a major player across asset classes. In FX, Autobahn provides a single blotter for trades executed via both voice and electronic channels. Users can thus benefit from a combined view and take greater control over their portfolios.
Morgan Stanley Matrix
While not a top-tier bank in FX, Morgan Stanley has sought to add unique value with its Matrix platform. That has been achieved in part through execution and post-trade services, but also through the bank’s quantitative solutions and innovations group, which develops unique analytical tools to help users make more informed trading and investment decisions.
Launched in 2013, UBS Neo is a cross-asset class platform providing a single point of access with a strong user experience, re-establishing the Swiss bank as a significant player in electronic trading. UBS Neo FX covers 550 currency pairs, with access to cash, NDFs and options available through the platform.
Trends in use of Electronic Platforms
From The $4 trillion question: what explains FX growth since the 2007 survey?
Electronic execution methods are transforming the FX market The greater activity of all three of the above-mentioned customer types – highfrequency traders, banks as clients and retail investors – is closely related to the growth of electronic execution methods in FX markets. Greenwich Associates estimates that more than 50% of total foreign exchange trading volume is now being executed electronically (Graph 3, left-hand panel).
Electronic execution methods can be divided into three categories: electronic brokers, multi-bank trading systems and single-bank trading systems. Electronic brokers were introduced in the inter-dealer FX market as early as in 1992. For customers, however, the main channel for trading continued to be direct contact with dealers by telephone. In the rather opaque and fragmented FX market of the 1990s, barriers to entry were high and competition was limited. Customers typically paid large spreads on their FX trades.
The first multi-bank trading system was Currenex, which was launched in 1999. By providing customers with competing quotes from different FX dealers on a single page, Currenex increased transparency, reduced transaction costs and attracted a growing customer base. State Street’s FXConnect, which had been launched in 1996 as a single-bank trading system servicing only State Street’s clients, opened up in 2000 and became a multi-bank ECN.
In response to the increased competition, top FX dealers launched proprietary single-bank trading systems for their clients, such as Barclays’ BARX in 2001, Deutsche Bank’s Autobahn in 2002 and Citigroup’s Velocity in 2006. According to data provided to the BIS, daily average trading volumes on the top single-bank trading systems have increased by up to 200% over the past three years.
Market Participants in
Forex Market Players
The Forex market is an international over-the-counter market (OTC). It means that it is a decentralized, self-regulated market with no central exchange or clearing house, unlike stocks and futures markets. This structure eliminates fees for exchange and clearing, thereby reducing transaction costs.
The Forex OTC market is formed by different participants – with varying needs and interests – that trade directly with each other. These participants can be divided in two groups: the interbank market and the retail market.
The Interbank Market
The interbank market designates Forex transactions that occur between central banks, commercial banks and financial institutions.
Central Banks – National central banks (such as the US Fed and the ECB) play an important role in the Forex market. As principal monetary authority, their role consists in achieving price stability and economic growth. To do so, they regulate the entire money supply in the economy by setting interest rates and reserve requirements. They also manage the country’s foreign exchange reserves that they can use in order to influence market conditions and exchange rates.
Commercial Banks – Commercial banks (such as Deutsche Bank and Barclays) provide liquidity to the Forex market due to the trading volume they handle every day. Some of this trading represents foreign currency conversions on behalf of customers’ needs while some is carried out by the banks’ proprietary trading desk for speculative purpose.
Financial Institutions – Financial institutions such as money managers, investment funds, pension funds and brokerage companies trade foreign currencies as part of their obligations to seek the best investment opportunities for their clients. For example, a manager of an international equity portfolio will have to engage in currency trading in order to buy and sell foreign stocks.
The Retail Market
The retail market designates transactions made by smaller speculators and investors. These transactions are executed through Forex brokers who act as a mediator between the retail market and the interbank market. The participants of the retail market are hedge funds, corporations and individuals.
Hedge Funds – Hedge funds are private investment funds that speculate in various assets classes using leverage. Macro Hedge Funds pursue trading opportunities in the Forex Market. They design and execute trades after conducting a macroeconomic analysis that reviews the challenges affecting a country and its currency. Due to their large amounts of liquidity and their aggressive strategies, they are a major contributor to the dynamic of Forex Market.
Corporations – They represent the companies that are engaged in import/export activities with foreign counterparts. Their primary business requires them to purchase and sell foreign currencies in exchange for goods, exposing them to currency risks. Through the Forex market, they convert currencies and hedge themselves against future fluctuations.
Individuals – Individual traders or investors trade Forex on their own capital in order to profit from speculation on future exchange rates. They mainly operate through Forex platforms that offer tight spreads, immediate execution and highly leveraged margin accounts.
Trend Towards Exchanges ?
Only 200 billion daily turnover using exchanges
Exchanges are staking out the $5tn a day global currency market as part of their latest efforts to tap this lucrative and booming sector that has long been dominated by global banks.
This week Bats Global Markets, the US’s second largest equities exchange, fired the latest salvo by offering three months of free trading on its forthcoming London-based Hotspot currency trading platform, the centrepiece of Bats’ $365m purchase of the venue from KCG Holdings in March.
That came only days after Deutsche Börse, Europe’s largest exchanges operator, bought 360T, one of the world’s largest currency trading networks, for €725m.
Their moves are audacious attempts to break into the world’s most liquid over-the-counter market, where a notional $5.3tn a day is traded in cash, or spot, and derivatives trades. It is dominated by banks, which continue to make billions of dollars in profits from it each year. Exchanges have generally been unable to establish a presence in this and other OTC markets, despite repeated attempts to do so.
In currencies, Chicago’s CME Group dominates futures trading, reflecting how it seized the terrain in the 1970s when the present era of floating foreign exchanges began. Markets in Moscow, Brazil and India also trade local currency, but of that $5.3tn total, global exchanges account for just $200bn according to Aite Group, a financial markets consultancy.
However, cracks are appearing in the market edifice, brought on by a combination of unlawful activity by banks, deep structural change and the emergence of cheap and reliable technology that has allowed alternative ways of trading to emerge.
“The banks as a whole will continue to have a substantial piece of the pie but the regulations will force them to let go of pieces of it,” says Javier Paz, an analyst at Aite Group.
Waves of post financial crisis regulation have accelerated change in equity and interest rate swaps markets, but global policymakers largely left the currency market alone.
However, the currency industry is mopping up after two of its own existential crises — the Wm/Reuters benchmark rate rigging scandal, which resulted in multibillion-dollar fines for banks, and the sudden move by the Swiss franc in January when the national central bank abolished its ceiling against the euro.
Market observers say that end users such as corporations, hedge funds and asset managers are now taking far more care with their orders, and they have the tools to do it, turning the banks more into agency brokers.
“End users are getting used to technology where they have a full view of the market. They are accessing more markets than they could ever do 10 years ago,” says Chris Concannon, chief executive of Bats Global Markets.
At the same time, incidents like the Swiss move have also raised the alarm among banks. By the end of that day in January some smaller retail brokers faced ruin but even several larger broker-dealers such as Barclays, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank nursed tens of millions of dollars in losses. That has also left the market seeking as many different venues as possible where they can offset their customers’ trades.
“People are not holding risk like they were a year ago. A year ago they would warehouse that risk and wait for another customer to come along,” says Mr Concannon.
Not helping matters is how foreign exchange market liquidity is highly concentrated among just a handful of trading pairs, known as the G10. Into the gap on the other side of the trade are stepping high-frequency traders such as the US’s Virtu Financial. It is one of the world’s largest currency market makers.
“Clients that are trading on anonymous platforms by definition have no insight into whom they are trading with, and as such are likely interacting with non-bank liquidity providers more often than they know,” notes a report by Greenwich Associates last month.
However, even if the diagnosis is right, exchanges still face tough competition from well-established platforms not run by banks, such as Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg FXGO and ICAP’s EBS. These make up the majority of the $1.1tn average daily volume traded on electronic FX platforms and provide a role as a more centralised price benchmark independent of banks.
Bats, which has targeted London because it is the world’s main location for forex trading, will aim to provide a reliable venue for pricing and take more trading volume from the 220 banks, asset managers, hedge funds, dealers and retail brokers signed up to the venue.
Deutsche Börse sees 360T as a key part of its growth strategy, using it as a way to sell market data and develop futures, FX forwards and swaps trading to boost its Eurex derivatives business. But it is trading network, not an exchange-like central limit order book.
Critically, OTC markets are historically highly resistant to encroachment from exchanges and some see little sign of that changing.
The head of one currency trading platform says: “I don’t see any signs of moving to an exchange model. I don’t see a slam dunk here, I see some desperate buyers looking for a growth story.”
OTC FX trading becomes ‘exchange-like’
Thursday, April 21, 2016
The acquisition of trading platforms Hotspot and 360T by Bats Global Markets and Deutsche Börse respectively last year were bold statements of intent by exchange operators to grab a larger chunk of the trillions of dollars traded in FX every day.
However, while consolidation in the venues supporting FX trading can be expected to result in exchanges becoming more involved in the FX space, any actual market structure change is likely to take a long time to materialize, according to
FXSpotStream CEO Alan Schwarz.
“The FX market continues to do a good job of addressing regulatory requirements and meeting the demands of market participants,” he says.
“We have seen a shift in the FX market looking to trade more on a disclosed basis. Our business has continued to see year-on-year growth because there is a move taking place from exchange-like anonymous trading to bilateral, fully disclosed trading between counterparties.
“Unlike trading on an exchange, the relationship via FXSpotStream is transparent and trading with the liquidity providing banks is on a fully disclosed basis.”
Kevin McPartland, head of market structure and technology research at Greenwich Associates, believes that discussion of migration from OTC to exchange fails to take account of some of the nuances of the FX market and that the future lies in venues that support multiple trading models.
“There are a host of non-exchange electronic trading venues that allow clients to trade with each other in a variety of ways,” he says.
Kevin McPartland, Greenwich Associates
On the question of whether there is a discernible shift towards fully disclosed trading, McPartland refers to both central limit order book (CLOB) and request-for-quote (RFQ) having their merits.
Despite observations made by the likes of TeraExchange – that order book platforms offer a democratic marketplace through transparent, firm and executable prices – corporates have remained reluctant to abandon the RFQ model.
The key question for CLOB platform providers continues to be not why market participants have migrated to alternative models but rather when they will be in a position to win new business for products that are most suited for order books, such as the benchmarks and plain vanilla products.
“RGQ offers liquidity on demand and identification of counterparties, whereas CLOB is faster and its anonymity can be helpful,” says McPartland.
“But we are now seeing demand for a solution that provides the best of both worlds by enabling trading in an order book format while maintaining a bilateral relationship with counterparties.”
According to James Sinclair, CEO of MarketFactory, options and other derivatives are moving closer to an exchange model due to the direct effects of regulation and the increased costs of compliance in OTC markets.
He refers to CME FX options as an example, noting they are effectively options on futures.
“However, the situation in the spot market is more complicated – some aspects are becoming closer to an exchange, others are moving further away,” he says. “FX has its own market structure that is hard to fit into the OTC/exchange paradigm.”
James Sinclair, MarketFactory
One of the fundamental reasons why the market does not become centrally cleared, says Sinclair, is that a cleared model carries the cost of insurance against both settlement and market risk.
“CLS insures you against settlement risk but not the market risk,” he adds. “Counterparts still find it cheaper to self-insure against market risk in case of a counterparty default than to pay the extra cost of a fully cleared solution.”
A senior platform source observes that growth in exchange-traded products has largely come from futures traders who have looked for diversification and added FX as another asset class.
“Very little business has moved from OTC – some banks have added exchanges as additional liquidity sources to cover risk, but that is really the only business that has crossed the divide,” the source says.
OTC has become more exchange-like in that the largest banks have continued to extend their internalization of flow, so each now runs an order book trading structure internally.
However, our source also points out that the tightening of credit has reduced the number of prime brokers in FX and costs have risen “so the nearest thing that the FX OTC market has to centralized clearing has actually reduced its volume and capacity”, he concludes.
Evolution of Information Exchange in Trading Platforms
Voice Broker VB
Electronic Broker EB
Prime Broker PB
Retail Aggregator – RA
Multi Bank Trading – MBT
Single Bank Trading – SBT
Top 10 FX Turnover Locations
United Kingdom – 37%
United States – 20%
Singapore – 7.9%
Hong Kong SAR – 6.7%
Japan – 6.1 %
France – 2.8%
Switzerland – 2.4%
Australia – 1.9%
Germany – 1.8%
Canada – 1.3%
Currencies and Currency Pairs
US Dollar is the king in FX market. 87.6% of transactions include USD on one side of currency pair. Euro comes at second with 31%. Japanese Yen is at 21.6%. UK Pound Sterling is at 12.8%. Chinese Yuan has moved to 4%.
Currencies and Currencies Pairs
Trends in FX Market
High Frequency Trading
Non Bank Liquidity Providers (Market Makers)
Non Bank Electronic Market Makers
The diverse set of non-bank electronic market-makers includes
These market-makers’ trading volume is captured in the Triennial because their trades are prime-brokered by a dealer bank. They are active on multilateral trading platforms, where they provide prices to banks’ e-trading desks, retail aggregators, hedge funds and institutional clients.
Chinese RMB – in FX Markets
Second in Trade Finance
Sixth in Payments
Eighth in FX Trading
Considering China’s Renminbi for International Settlement and Forex Trading
On October 1, 2016, the International Monetary Fund added China’s renminbi1 (RMB) to its elite Special Drawing Right (SDR) basket of currencies, alongside the U.S. dollar, euro, yen and British pound. IMF said the change reflected China’s progress in reforming its monetary, foreign exchange and financial systems, and improving its financial market infrastructure.2 Short-term, this means countries can now include RMB assets in official FX reserves, making it easier for them to meet IMF guidelines.3 Beyond this, however, inclusion in SDR is a symbol of RMB’s emergence as an international currency for forex trading and settlement of global business transactions.
RMB’s ongoing progress is an important consideration for businesses involved in any FX trading, and particularly for those whose business or currency trading activities involve China.
RMB Usage Grows in Trade and Currency Trading
IMF’s decision arrives in the context of growing RMB usage in trade finance, international payments, and forex trading. In trade finance, RMB is now second amongst world currencies, reflecting enormous international trade with China.4
Since 2013, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication’s (SWIFT’s) monthly Renminbi Tracker, China’s currency has risen from ninth to fifth worldwide in total payments sent and received by value, not counting payments by central banks. During that period, it surpassed the Swedish Krona (SEK), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Swiss Franc (CHF), Australian Dollar (AUD) and, briefly during summer 2015, even the yen (JPY). RMB use is growing slowly in some markets (such as France, Switzerland and Germany), and is rapidly accelerating in others (e.g., the United Arab Emirates).5 SWIFT has elsewhere reported that 50 countries now use RMB for 10 percent or more of their trade with China.6
Meanwhile, according to the Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS’) September 2016 Central Bank Survey, RMB has doubled its share of OTC currency trading transactions since 2013. It has surpassed Mexico’s peso to become the most active developing market currency on forex trading exchanges, and is now eighth in FX trading amongst all currencies worldwide. BIS’s report notes that “as much as 95 percent of renminbi trading volume was against the U.S. dollar.”7
Building the Global Infrastructure for an Internationalized Currency
To promote RMB usage abroad, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) – China’s central bank – has authorized 18 new official clearing banks worldwide since December 2012. These have opened in locations including Toronto, Buenos Aires, London, Paris, Johannesburg, Sydney, Seoul and Taipei.8 In September 2016, PBOC announced the first RMB clearing and settlement services in the U.S.9
Domestically, China has eliminated a cap on the number of enterprises permitted to carry out cross-border RMB settlements. Any company permitted to engage in import-export business may settle in RMB, unless it appears on a “black name list” (in which case its transactions may be reviewed individually).10 Restrictions have also been relaxed on RMB-denominated investments by foreigners.11
As Yu Yongding of the Asian Development Bank Institute has pointed out, China is the only country that has ever decided on its own to make internationalizing its currency a national priority.12 In determining how far RMB’s internationalization will go, China’s authorities appear to be balancing the benefits and risks of liberalization,13 carefully timing their decisions accordingly.
They face significant obstacles, not least the continuing downward pressure on the value of China’s currency on forex trading exchanges since it peaked against the U.S. dollar in early 2014. Some market observers believe RMB faces bank sector headwinds that might require a government bailout,14 as well as increased protectionist pressures in the U.S.15 and elsewhere. If these events lead to further reductions in RMB’s value, China could face accelerating capital flight,16 deepening internal opposition to the full elimination of capital controls.
Transacting in RMB
China’s reforms have made it easier for companies that do business in China to settle their transactions in RMB if they so desire. Many of their Chinese trading partners would welcome this, and some may even offer discounts if they can invoice in RMB.17 China’s central bank has estimated that transacting in U.S. dollars may add 2-to-3 percent in administrative expenses alone.18
The risk of currency fluctuation, however, remains a significant issue. Hedging vehicles exist; of course, these have their own costs. In making the decision about whether to transact business in RMB or another currency, companies may wish to make careful and timely assessments about currency risk.
As China’s financial and market reforms move forward, RMB is emerging as a leading international currency. It has become far easier for international businesses and currency traders to transact in China’s home currency. International businesses may wish to carefully consider currency risk in developing their own plans for RMB forex trading and settlement.
PB (Prime Brokerages)
Multi Dealer Trading
Single Dealer Trading
HFT (High Frequency Trading)
Retail FX Systems
FX ECNs (Electronic Communication Networks)
Non Bank Liquidity Providers
FXPB (Foreign Exchange Prime Brokerage)
Key Sources of Research:
Buttonwood The financial markets in an era of deglobalisation
Why the global volume of foreign-exchange trading is shrinking
Global Financial Safety Net: Regional Reserve Pools and Currency Swap Networks of Central Banks
You can read this post from two perspectives
Geo Strategic (International Financial and Economic Architecture)
Financial and Economic stability / Macro-prudential Policy
Recent Financial Crisis has exposed the fact that global financial liquidity can be in shortage. Since US Dollar is the global currency and is used in more that 40 percent of all financial transactions globally.
Asian Countries faced dollar shortage during 1997-1998 asian financial crisis. Recent Global Financial crisis caused dollar shortage in advanced countries. US Central Bank Federal Reserve responded by setting up currency swap lines with central banks of other countries. These swap lines were made permanent in 2013.
After Asian financial crisis in 1997, many countries in developing world started accumulating FX reserves. There was also a swap agreement (known as Chiang Mai Initiative) which was set up between ASEAN countries in south east Asia.
Nations also go to IMF to get conditional financing which they do not like to do. New Trend is toward regional pooling of financial resources. Latest example is BRICS CRA.
Even advanced economies such as EU have established European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
Chiang Mai Initiative has been revamped as Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralism (CMIM).
Financial and Economic Stability / Macro Prudential Policy
A. Reserve Pools
Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI)
Chiang Mai Initiative Multi-Lateralism (CMIM)
BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA)
European Stability Mechanism (ESM)
B. Currency Swap Lines
Federal Reserve Central Bank US Dollar Swap Lines
PBOC China Central bank RMB Swap Lines
D. Self Insurance
Nation’s Foreign Exchange (FX) Reserves
From The decentralised global monetary system requires an efficient safety net
The global financial safety net as a set of protection mechanisms
The current decentralised system also lacks a central authority that is actively integrated and, above all, contractually bound into the maintenance of the monetary system by providing temporary liquidity, such as the IMF in the Bretton Woods system. Instead, various protection mechanisms have evolved because the current system has not led to greater external stability of national economies and the global economy. The problem of volatile capital flows became particularly clear once again in the course of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. For emerging market economies, the warning of a sudden reversal of capital flows has been omnipresent ever since the Asian crisis. However, the last crisis has demonstrated that even for industrialised countries their developed financial markets are a significant contagion mechanism for crisis developments. The following are regarded as key elements of the global financial safety net:11
International reserves. These include official foreign exchange and gold reserves as well as claims on inter-national financial institutions such as the IMF that can be rapidly converted into foreign currency under the countries’ own responsibility. •
Bilateral swap arrangements between central banks. In a currency swap two central banks agree to exchange currency amounts, e.g. US dollars for euros. They agree on a fixed date in the future on which they will reverse the transaction applying the same exchange rate. During the term central banks can make foreign currency loans to private banks. •
IMF programmes and regional financing arrangements (e.g. European Stability Mechanism, Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation Agreement, BRICs CRA, Arab Monetary Fund, Latin American Reserve Fund). They make financial resources available to the members to tackle balance of payments difficulties, manage crises and prevent regional contagion effects. Depending on their design, they may impose conditions and requirements for economic policy measures on the recipient countries. Some regional programmes require a combination with IMF funds.
The most important element of the protection mechanisms: international reserves
International reserves are by far the largest element of the global safety net.12 The lack of predictability and robustness of other elements has led to an over-accumulation of reserves. After the Asian crisis, upper middle income countries in particular built up reserves. While China holds a major portion of the reserves in this group of countries, all other countries also boosted their reserves significantly. As a result of central bank interventions in the foreign exchange market, reserves have decreased since the year 2013.
The renaissance of bilateral swap arrangements
Bilateral swap arrangements were used by the US Treasury as early as in 1936 to supply developing countries with bridging loans. During the Bretton Woods period, the Fed introduced a network of swap lines known as reciprocal currency arrangements to prevent a sudden and substantial withdrawal of gold by official foreign institutions.13 A swap protected foreign central banks from the exchange rate risk when they had obtained excess and unwanted dollar positions. It allowed them to dispense with the temporary conversion of dollars into gold. Between 1973 and 1980, the swap lines were used instead of US currency reserves to finance interventions by the Fed in the foreign exchange market. Gains and losses were shared with the other central bank when the Fed drew on a line. However, the G10 central banks could try to use the swap arrangements to influence the US foreign currency market interventions, so the Fed stopped using them in the mid-1980s. All existing swap lines except those with Canada and Mexico were ended in 1998. After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the Fed established swap lines with the European Central Bank and the Bank of England for 30 days and expanded the existing line with the Bank of Canada. Currency swaps were used here for the first time to restore liquidity in financial markets. During the global financial crisis, the Fed then financed the lender-of-last-resort actions of other central banks in industrialised and emerging market economies, with the latter assuming the credit risk. The international reserves of many central banks at the start of the crisis were smaller than the amounts they borrowed under the swap lines. In 2013 the swap arrangements between the six most important central banks were converted into standing arrangements. All these swap arrangements have one thing in common: they signal the central banks’ willingness to cooperate with each other, whether it be in defence of the parities under the Bretton Woods system, to avert speculative attacks on the Fed, or with the aim of providing dollar liquidity during the financial crisis. China has also set up a far-reaching system of swap arrangements, mainly with the aim of pushing ahead with the internationalisation of the renminbi. But from the perspective of these central banks, the agreements with the Bank of England, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the ECB also serve the goal of being able to provide renminbi liquidity in their area of responsibility when needed Swaps represent a powerful and flexible tool of central banks that issue reserve currencies to regulate international capital flows. Central banks are the only institutions capable of changing their balance sheets quickly enough to keep pace with the volatility of international capital flows. Swaps are unsuitable, however, for longer-lasting crises, sovereign debt crises and to finance balance of payments imbalances. That is why they would be the most suitable tool for emerging market economies, as they are more likely to face abrupt changes in capital flows. Nevertheless, so far only the most important central banks that issue reserve currencies have been able to access unlimited swaps. Granting them is determined by the mandate of the central banks and they represent contractual, not institutional agreements. Accordingly, the central banks are able to choose their contractual partners, and there is no central independent authority to supervise swap arrangements. The swap arrangements for central banks in industrial countries that do not issue a reserve currency can therefore be expected to be reinstated in the event of a global shock, while they are less likely to be employed in case of a regional shock. Their use is even less predictable for systemic emerging market economies.
Growth of Global Financial Safety Net
Features of Instruments in the Global Financial Safety net
Use of GFSN in various shock Scenarios
Balance of Payment shock
Banking Sector FX Liquidity shock
Sovereign Debt shock
US Dollar Swap Lines
These six central banks have permanent US Dollar swap lines since 2013.
USA (Fed Reserve),
During the global financial crisis, the Federal Reserve extended swap arrangements to 14 other central banks. The ECB drew very heavily, followed by the BoJ. At one point during the crisis in 2009, outstanding swaps amounted to more than $580 billion and represented about one-quarter of the Fed’s balance sheet. The novel element of this effort was the extension of swaps to four countries outside the usual set of advanced-country central banks: Mexico, Brazil, South Korea and Singapore.16 Mexico previously had a standing swap facility with the Federal Reserve by virtue of geographic proximity and the North American Free Trade Agreement, but the new arrangement expanded the amount that Mexico’s central bank could draw and the Fed’s swaps with Brazil, South Korea and Singapore broke new ground. The swaps in general were credited with preventing a more serious seizing up of interbank lending and financial markets during 2008 to 2009 (Helleiner 2014, 38–45; Prasad 2014, 202–11; IMF 2013a; 2014a, Box 2). The Federal Reserve board of governors considered the “boundary” question at length, torn between opening itself up to additional demands for coverage from emerging markets and creating stigma against those left outside the safety net. Fed officials used economic size and connections to international financial markets as the main criteria for selecting Brazil, Mexico, Singapore and South Korea. Chile, Peru, Indonesia, India, Iceland and likely others also requested swaps but were denied. The governors wanted to deflect requests by additional countries to the IMF, which coordinated its announcement of the SLF with the Fed’s announcement of the additional swaps at the end of October 2008. Governors and staff saw in this tiering a natural division of labour that coincided with the resources and analytical capacity of the Fed and IMF.17 The ECB extended swaps to Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark, in addition to its arrangement with the United States. The BoJ extended swaps as well, notably to South Korea after the Federal Reserve announced its Korean swap. The PBoC began to conclude a set of swap agreements with Asian and non-Asian central banks that would eventually number more than 20 and amount to RMB 2.57 trillion. Only those swaps with the central banks of Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea are known to have been activated (Zhang 2015, 5). Boosting the role of the renminbi in international trade was the express objective of these swaps, although their establishment also helped to secure market confidence during unsettled times. The proliferation of swaps resulted in a set of star-shaped networks of agreements among central banks that were linked by Fed liquidity (Allen and Moessner 2010). Although a number of the swaps in the network were activated, only those swaps of the Federal Reserve were heavily used during the crisis. The “fortunate four” emerging market countries among the Fed 14 were each covered for amounts up to $30 billion, but only temporarily. When the Fed later declined to renew the swaps, these countries became as vulnerable to liquidity shortfalls as the others. So, when South Korea took the chair of the G20 in 2010, its government proposed that the central bank swaps be multilateralized on a more permanent basis. It argued this would be increasingly necessary to stabilize the global financial system and would be in the interest of swap providers and recipients alike. Specifically, during the preparations for the G20 summit, South Korean officials proposed that the advanced-country central banks provide swaps to the IMF, which would conduct due diligence and provide liquidity to qualifying central banks. In this way, the global community could mobilize enough resources to address even a massive liquidity crunch and central banks would avoid credit risk.
In late 2013, six key-currency central banks made their temporary swap arrangements permanent standing facilities. Each central bank entered into a bilateral arrangement with the five others, comprising a network of 30 such agreements.18 But they prefer to maintain a constructive ambiguity with respect to whether they would re-extend swap arrangements to the other central banks that were covered during the global financial crisis, including Brazil, Mexico,19 South Korea and Singapore (Papadia 2013).
During the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, Federal Reserve extended USD swap lines to several central banks. The financial institutions in these countries faced USD shortages as the normal channels of money markets froze during crisis.
US Dollar Swap amounts extended during 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis
China RMB Swap Lines
During the 2007-8 global financial crisis, the international monetary system experienced an acute US dollar shortage that severely curtailed global trade and pressured international banking business (McCauley and McGuire, 2009; McGuire and von Peter, 2009). The US authorities, in response to the elevated strain in the global market, have arranged dollar swap lines with major central banks to mitigate the global dollar squeeze (Aizenman and Pasricha, 2010; Aizenman, Jinjarak and Park, 2011). On Thursday, October 31, 2013, the network of central banks comprises the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank agreed to convert their bilateral liquidity swap arrangements to standing arrangements until further notice.1 The dollar squeeze critically illustrated the danger of operating a US-centric global financial system. Against this backdrop, China has actively implemented measures of promoting the cross-border use of the Chinese currency, the renminbi (RMB), to reduce its reliance on the US dollar. The aggressive policy move was considered a clear signal of China’s efforts to internationalize RMB (Chen and Cheung, 2011; Cheung, Ma and McCauley, 2011). In 2009, China launched the scheme of cross-border trade settlement in RMB to encourage the denomination and settlement of international trade in its own currencies. One practical issue of settling trade in RMB is the limited availability of the currency outside China. China at that time had strict regulations on circulating the RMB across its border. To facilitate its RMB trade settlement initiative, China signed its first bilateral RMB local currency swap agreement with the Bank of Korea in December 2008, and the second one with Hong Kong in January 2009. Since then, China has signed various swap agreements with economies around the world.2
The 5th and 6th BRICS summits in 2013–2014 marked a watershed in the evolution of the BRICS group with the establishment of the first BRICS institutions. These included the BRICS New Development Bank, the CRA, the BRICS Business Council and the Think Tanks Council. Although this has weakened the ‘political talk shop’ perception of the group, critics have questioned whether these institutions will have a substantive effect. In particular, doubts have been cast upon the effectiveness of the CRA.
The CRA is modest in size in comparison to the IMF and other similar arrangements such as the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM). At this stage the BRICS countries have committed $100 billion to the CRA, with China committing $41 billion, Russia, Brazil and India $18 billion each and South Africa $5 billion. The CMIM reportedly has a reserve pool of $240 billion and the IMF resources of $780 billion. It has been noted that with BRICS’s foreign reserves standing at about $5 trillion, a commitment of 16% would take the CRA pool to $800 billion.
From GLOBAL AND REGIONAL FINANCIAL SAFETY NETS: LESSONS FROM EUROPE AND ASIA
ASEAN +3 CMIM
ASEAN + Japan Korea China
The embryo of an Asian regional safety net arrangement has existed since 1977, when the five founding members of the ASEAN signed the ASEAN Swap Arrangement (ASA)5. Following the Asian crisis and after aborted discussion on the creation of an Asian Monetary Fund, Japan launched the New Miyazawa Initiative in October 1998 amounting to about $35 billion, which was targeted at stabilising the foreign exchange markets of Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand6. The initiative was particularly valuable in containing instability in Malaysia’s financial sector, since that country had refused an IMF Stand-By Arrangement. The Japanese manoeuvre was deemed somewhat mutinous, since the IMF was very critical of Malaysia’s approach. But it also cemented the idea that Asia could gather enough resources to sandbag itself during a crisis period so long as Asian countries were united and managed to roll out timely and credible support mechanisms. In Asian countries under IMF programmes, the conditionality associated with the loans included severe fiscal cuts, deep structural reforms, and substantial increases in interest rates to stabilise currency markets. The economic and social cost of the adjustment was so high and abrupt that it provoked social unrest in a number of countries. This would reverberate strongly in the months that followed and leave a lasting scar in relations between Asian countries and the IMF7. This experience fuelled both a willingness to self-insure through accelerated reserve accumulation and to strengthen regional arrangements to reduce the reliance on global financial safety nets. Building on this lesson, the CMI was formalised in May 2000 during the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers Meeting8. It largely built on the original ASA and bilateral swap agreements involving the PRC, Japan, and the Republic of Korea but was grounded in a broader programme that also included developing Asia’s local currency bond market and introduced a regional economic review and policy dialogue to enhance the region’s surveillance mechanism (Kawai and Houser 2007). The initiative included the new ASEAN members, increasing the total number of parties to the arrangement from 5 to 10. Table A.1 in the appendix highlights the evolution of the CMI. The question of cooperation between the CMI and the IMF quickly became quite heated, with a number of countries arguing that strong ties to the Fund would defeat the initial purpose of the initiative (Korea Institute of Finance, 2012), but the ties were kept nonetheless both to mitigate moral hazard (Sussangkarn, 2011) and to ensure some consistency with conditionality attached to the IMF’s own programmes. After the formal creation of the CMI in 2000, the era of Great Moderation that followed to some degree doused further ambitions to strengthen regional arrangements. As a result, when the global financial crisis hit in 2008, the Asian regional financial safety net proved too modest to play a meaningful role.
Indeed, instead of seeking support under CMI, the Bank of Korea and the Monetary Authority of Singapore sought a swap agreement with the US Federal Reserve for some $30 billion each. The Republic of Korea concluded bilateral agreements with Japan and the PRC that were not related to the CMI. Similarly, Indonesia established separate bilateral swap lines with Japan and the PRC to shore up its crisis buffer and did not resort to the CMI for credit support (Sussangkarn, 2011). The plan to consolidate the bilateral swap arrangements and form a single, more solid, and effective reserve pooling mechanism – which had initially been put forward by the finance ministers of the ASEAN+3 in May 2007 in Kyoto – was accelerated and evolved in several iterations before the final version was laid out more than two years later. In December 2009, the CMI was multilateralised and the ASEAN+3 representatives signed the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) Agreement, which effectively became binding on March 24, 2010 (BSP, 2012). These successive transformations have strengthened the initiative, but it remains largely untested. In addition, other aspects of any credible regional financial arrangement, such as surveillance capacity and coordination of some basic economic policies, remain relatively embryonic.
From GLOBAL AND REGIONAL FINANCIAL SAFETY NETS: LESSONS FROM EUROPE AND ASIA
The history of European financial safety nets cannot be dissociated from the history of European monetary integration. With this perspective in mind, it dates back to the late 1960s and has been an ongoing debate to this day. The history of European political integration at every turn is marked by failed projects or actual mechanisms of financial solidarity, ranging from loose exchange rate arrangements to the project of a full-fledged European Monetary Fund. The advent of the monetary union was precisely designed to reduce the need for financial safety nets within the euro area. But the architectural deficiencies of the euro area and the lack of internal transfers have required the establishment of alternative mutual insurance mechanisms since the onset of the euro crisis in 2010. In 2008, when the global financial crisis hit, Hungary had accumulated important external imbalances and large foreign exchange exposures. It had to seek financial assistance almost immediately and initiated contacts with the IMF. The total absence of coordination with European authorities came as an initial shock because it showed that despite decades of intense economic, political, and monetary integration, EU countries could still come to require international financial assistance. The experience pushed European institutions to unearth a forgotten provision of the Maastricht Treaty to provide financial assistance through the Balance of Payments Assistance Facility9. This created preliminary and at first ad-hoc coordination between the IMF and the European Commission, which was then rediscovering design and monitoring of macroeconomic adjustment programmes. Despite the rapid use of this facility and the emergence of a framework of cooperation with the IMF, contagion from the global financial crisis continued for months and prompted some Eastern European leaders to seek broader and more pre-emptive support10, which failed. However, beyond official sector participation, there was a relatively rapid realisation that cross-border banking and financial retrenchment could become a major source of financial disruption and effectively propagate the crisis further – including back to the core of Europe, as large European banks were heavily exposed to Eastern Europe through vast and dense networks of branches and subsidiaries. In response, in late February 2009, under the leadership of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank decided to establish what was known as the Vienna Initiative. This was designed as a joint multilateral and private sector coordination and enforcement mechanism to reduce the risk of banking sector sudden stops. In particular, it compelled cross-border European banks to continue to provide appropriate liquidity to their branches and subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe. The formalisation of such an arrangement11 quite early in the crisis has certainly proven the case for coordination of financial institutions in emerging-market economies, especially when a relatively small number of institutions have a disproportionate impact on capital flows. But with the crisis spreading to the euro area, starting with Greece in the fall of 2010, new regional arrangements proved necessary. The lack of instruments forced European officials to first consider bilateral assistance from member states. The idea of involving the IMF was initially violently rejected 9 on intellectual and political grounds12 but proved inevitable. In a number of successive iterations, more solid regional arrangements were designed (Bijlsma and Vallée 2012). Table A.2 in the appendix shows the evolution of European regional financial safety nets.
List of Regional Financial Agreements (RFA)
Bilateral Currency Swaps
IMF SDR Basket
FX Swap Networks
Global Financial Safety Nets (GFSN)
Foreign Exchange Reserves
Regional Financial Agreements (RFA)
Regional Financial Networks (RFN)
Bilateral Currency Swap Agreement (BSA)
RMB (Renminbi also known as Yuan)
International Lender of Last Resort (ILOLR)
Regional Financial Safety Net (RFSN)
Multilateral Financial Safety Net (MFSN)
National Financial Safety Net (NFSN)
Key Sources of Research:
Self-Insurance, Reserve Pooling Arrangements, and Pre-emptive Financing
Regional Reserve Pooling Arrangements
Suman S. Basu Ran Bi
First Draft: 8 February, 2010 This Draft: 7 June, 2010
Evolving Networks of Regional RTGS Payment and Settlement Systems
Globalization has created incentives for nations to form regional economic unions to take advantage of scale and resource pooling.
There are a lot of efforts underway to develop and implement regional RTGS between central banks. There are several models for integration.
Many States, Many Currencies – Hong Kong SAR
Many States, Single Currency – EU uses EURO and Central America uses USD, SADC uses South African RAND
RTGS systems designed to facilitate such economic integration.
RTGS – RTGS – Interlink model – Hong Kong, ASEAN 5
RTGS-RTGS – SSP Single Shared Platform model – EU
From Payment System Interoperability and Oversight: The International Dimension
Several factors may prompt the international interlinking of PSIs. In most cases, linking national PSIs to achieve international interoperability of certain payment services comes from a country’s decisions to exploit the benefits of international economic and financial integration (i.e., greater international trade and investment activities, attraction of foreign investment capital, risk diversification, and deepening and broadening domestic financial and capital markets), since integration requires economic units to have convenient access to cross-border payment service facilities. A powerful driver to regional PSI interlinking is constituted by the political agreements among countries in a region on a broad, long-term economic and financial development cooperative program. Usually, in this case, the efforts to link payment system (as well as other financial market) infrastructures are supported actively by a core group of countries in organized regional development policy and planning forums.5 In some cases, interlinking may result from decisions by national financial authorities to address the demand from market participants (and/or their customers, including asset managers, other securities servicers, and other types of businesses) for cross-border access to international markets at lower end-to-end transaction costs.
Cross-border transactions can be made possible by establishing bilateral links between national PSIs.8 Perhaps the simplest form of PSI interlinking is achieved when two central banks agree on a scheme to support or facilitate cross-border transactions. This likely requires linking the large-value transfer systems of the countries involved by developing technical interfaces between them. Some other solutions are possible which link national payment systems through central bank bilateral accounts, whereby participating central banks hold settlement accounts either with one another or with a common commercial bank.
More advanced solutions for PSI interlinking are characterized by the adoption of a unified scheme and a common technical-operational facility to process the transactions defined under the scheme. The common (regional or global) technical-operational facility follows one of two basic architectures: the decentralized model, or the single or fully centralized model. Arrangements adopting a decentralized model for regional, cross-regional and/or global payments link existing national settlement systems (Figure 1). These normally feature different degrees of sophistication and complexity. Most decentralized regional payment systems are designed in a “hub-spoke” structure, in which there is a central administrative and technical-operational facility referred to as the “hub entity”, which links the participating systems.9 The interlinking mechanism is usually a standardized messaging and connectivity technology, which links account management and the various national operating systems together, while participants access the hub entity through the national settlement infrastructure of their jurisdiction.
In the centralized platform model, the national payment system infrastructures are replaced by a single international system (Figure 2). In this case, it is more appropriate to talk about international payment system integration. Participants access the system directly through the relevant telecommunications network or indirectly through any direct participant in the system. Centralized platforms are mostly identified with international integration projects, most notably regional, which have evolved into monetary unions with the use of a regional currency. They minimize or even eliminate the distinction between cross-border and domestic payments, and allow for processing both types of transactions in the same system seamlessly.
Various examples illustrate the different technical modalities of interlinking discussed above. One example of bilateral links between national payment systems is the linking of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s U.S. dollar real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system with the RTGS systems of other central banks in the region, specifically Bank Negara Malaysia’s RENTAS and Bank Indonesia’s BI-RTGS. These systems operate on a common operating platform. Their links, which are independent from each other, allow payment-versus-payment settlement between the national currencies of those countries and the U.S. dollar. Other illustrative examples are the East African Payments System (EAPS), which shows the case of national payment systems linked through the holding of bilateral accounts among central banks, and the Sistema de Pagos en Moneda Local involving the national RTGS systems of Argentina and Brazil, which is an example of the national payment systems linked through their respective central banks which hold settlement accounts with a common commercial bank. Currently, two SML systems are operational: one linking the RTGS systems of Argentina and Brazil, and other linking the RTGS systems of Brazil and Uruguay.
Other cases exemplify the decentralized and centralized models of international payment system integration. Schemes with a decentralized settlement system involving multiple parties have been developed in regions where there is a regional currency, as well as for settling cross-border payments denominated in a single foreign currency. The most well-known example of a unified scheme with a decentralized settlement system for a regional currency was the original TARGET in Europe, which linked the Euro RTGS systems of EU national central banks. Another example is the Sistema de Interconexión de Pagos in Central America and the Dominican Republic, which uses a decentralized architecture for settling cross-border payments in U.S. dollars.11
With regard to the centralized model of PSI interlinking (or integration), relevant examples are TARGET2 and EURO1 supporting euro denominated payments in the European Union,12 the STAR-UEMOA for the West African CFA Franc throughout the West African Economic and Monetary Union, and the RTGS system of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) for the EC dollar in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. Over the past decade, centralized payment system infrastructures have also been developed regionally, where no regional currency existed, to facilitate settlement of domestic, regional, and cross-regional payments in more than one settlement currency (e.g., RAPID in the United Arab Emirates, and CHATS in Hong Kong). Finally, an example of a unified global system for settlements denominated in multiple currencies is CLS Bank International, which links the national RTGS systems of the participating jurisdictions/currencies, with a strong reliance on the legal agreement of the rulebook and the technical standards.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional payment integration project in the Southern African region captures aspects of a centralized model. The project develops on the International Payments Framework (IPF) concept to construct a regional payment infrastructure composed of a regional automated clearing house (ACH) and settlement system.14 The current architecture consists of the SADC Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS), an electronic central system that facilitates cross border trade in the SADC region. SIRESS, and excludes domestic inter-bank payments and settlements. It allows participating banks to settle regional transactions denominated in South African Rand (ZAR) within SADC countries, on an RTGS basis. The system is operated by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on behalf of the SADC Committee of Central Bank Governors, with SARB also acting as the ZAR settlement bank. It is a safe and efficient payment/settlement system which reduces the cost to banks since there is no correspondent bank (intermediary) involved.15 The project should eventually evolve into a single regional payment settlement infrastructure, in tandem with the planned monetary union.
The prototypal regional systems for retail payments were multilateral arrangements governed by service agreements and operational protocols of limited standardization between participating banks in different countries. For example, TIPANET, which was designed as a cross-border retail payment service for credit transfers between cooperative banks in Europe and Canada, provided participating members with somewhat lower cost and faster payment delivery than the usual correspondent banking arrangements of that time.16 The widespread growth of credit and debit card payment schemes since the late 1980s provided a second wave of regional and crossregional PSI linkages and integration.
Some regional cross-border arrangements have developed across direct (horizontal) linkages between national schemes. This is the case of the arrangement linking the Interac debit card system in Canada, the NYCE Payments Network and PULSE systems in the United States, and Union Pay in China for access by the schemes’ cardholders to the cross-border debit and ATM networks. Global card payment schemes such as VISA and MasterCard provide cross-border interoperability in transaction systems for credit and debit payments and ATM cash withdrawals for cardholders and (vertical) integration of these systems with proprietary clearing and settlement systems. As global card payment schemes, they deal with domestic, regional, and cross-regional payments.17
Regional and cross-regional interlinking of national and funds transfer systems in general is a fairly recent development. Some, such as EBA Clearings’ STEP2 in Europe and SICA-UMEOA in the West African Monetary and Economic Union, are single regional schemes and systems for both domestic and cross-border payments among member countries using the euro and the CFA franc, respectively. Others are generally constructed through (horizontal) bilateral linkages between national ACHs. These linkages allow the ACH members in one country to transmit customer payments, typically via credit transfers, to end-receivers holding accounts with ACH members in other countries. The network architecture for regionally or cross-regionally linked payment clearing infrastructure and for single regional ACHs can be either a hub-spoke arrangement with a central hub connection, a centralized network structure, or a distributed bilateral network structure, which contemplates the operation of large providers of payment clearing and processing services (Box 1). Another example, in Europe, is the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) scheme compliant clearing and settlement mechanisms (CSMs). Services offered by competing CSMs, based on the SEPA payment schemes, are governed by market forces and are outside the remit of the European Payments Council (EPC). The EU regulation provides that, within the EU, a PSP reachable for a national euro credit transfer or direct debit shall be reachable for euro credit transfers or direct debits initiated through a PSP located in any member state. Any PSP participating in any of the EPC SEPA Schemes (SEPA Credit Transfer, SEPA Direct Debit), under the relevant scheme adherence agreement with the EPC and the relevant EPC SEPA Scheme Rulebook, is permanently obligated to comply with reachability from its readiness date. Each PSP needs to determine how to achieve full reachability for the EPC SEPA Scheme(s) it has adhered to. There are several ways for PSPs to send and receive euro payment transactions to and from other PSPs across SEPA. PSPs can choose and use any solution or combination of solutions, directly or indirectly, as long as reachability and compliance with the EPC SEPA Schemes are effectively ensured.
Main Regions with Regional RTGS Systems
Hong Kong SAR
West Africa – WAMZ
East Africa – EAPS
South Africa (SADC) – SIRESS
ASEAN AEC – ASEAN 5 RTGS
Central America – USD based RTGS – SIP
Since the establishment of the European Economic Community in 1958 there has been a progressive movement towards a more integrated European financial market. This movement has been marked by several events. In the field of payments, the most visible were the launch of the euro in 1999 and the cash changeover in the euro area countries in 2002.
The establishment of the large-value central bank payment system TARGET was less visible, but also of great importance. It formed an integral part of the introduction of the euro and facilitated the rapid integration of the euro area money market.
A unique feature of TARGET2 is the fact that its payment services in euro are available across a geographical area which is larger than the euro area. National central banks which have not yet adopted the euro also have the option to participate in TARGET2 to facilitate the settlement of transactions in euro. When new Member States join the euro area the participation in TARGET2 becomes mandatory. The use of TARGET2 is mandatory for the settlement of any euro operations involving the Eurosystem.
As of February 2016, 25 central banks of the EU and their respective user communities are participating in, or connected to, TARGET2:
The 20 euro area central banks (including the ECB) and
five central banks from non-euro area countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Poland and Romania.
Hong Kong RTGS System
Hong Kong’s financial infrastructure is designed to cater for cross-border as well as domestic economic activities. Links with payment systems and debt securities systems in other economies provide an easily accessible payment and settlement platform for cross-border economic transactions and financial intermediation.
Links with Guangdong (including Shenzhen) – Launched in phases since January 1998, these links cover cross-border RTGS payments in Hong Kong dollars and US dollars, and cheque clearing in Hong Kong dollars, US dollars and renminbi, with Guangdong Province including Shenzhen.1 The use of these links, which helps expedite payments and remittances between Hong Kong and Guangdong, has been rising gradually with the increasing economic integration between Hong Kong and the Mainland.
Cross-border payment arrangements with Mainland – Cross-border payment arrangements involving the Mainland’s Domestic Foreign Currency Payment System were established in March 2009 to facilitate foreign currency funding and liquidity management of Mainland banks and commercial payments. The cross-border payment arrangements currently cover four currencies – the Hong Kong dollar, US dollar, euro and British pound.
Link with Macau – The one-way joint clearing facility for Hong Kong dollar and US dollar cheques between Hong Kong and Macau was launched in August 2007 and June 2008 respectively, reducing the time required for clearing Hong Kong dollar and US dollar cheques drawn on banks in Hong Kong and presented in Macau from four or five days to two.
Link with Malaysia – A link between the Ringgit RTGS system in Malaysia (the RENTAS system) and the US dollar RTGS system in Hong Kong came into operation in November 2006. The link helps eliminate settlement risk by enabling PvP settlements of foreign exchange transactions in ringgit and US dollars during Malaysian and Hong Kong business hours. This is the first cross-border PvP link between two RTGS systems in the region.
Link with Indonesia – The PvP link between Hong Kong’s US dollar RTGS system and Indonesia’s Rupiah RTGS system was launched in January 2010. The link helps eliminate settlement risk by enabling PvP settlements of foreign exchange transactions in Rupiah and US dollars during Indonesian and Hong Kong business hours.
Link with the Continuous Linked Settlement (CLS) system – The CLS system, operated by CLS Bank International, is a global clearing and settlement system for cross-border foreign exchange transactions. It removes settlement risk in these transactions by settling them on a PvP basis. The Hong Kong dollar joined the CLS system in 2004.
Regional CHATS – This is an extension of the RTGS systems in Hong Kong in the regional context. Regional payments in Hong Kong dollars, US dollars, euros and renminbi can use the RTGS platform in Hong Kong to facilitate cross border/cross bank transfers in those currencies.
Link with Thailand
In 2014, Hong Kong started operating PvP link between HK’s US dollar RTGS system and Thailand’s BAHT RTGS system.
US FEDWIRE RTGS System
This is surprisingly subtle.
When, for instance, when bank A in the Richmond Federal Reserve district sends $1000 in reserves to bank B in the Minneapolis Federal Reserve district, reserves are taken out of bank A’s account at the Richmond Fed and placed into bank B’s account at the Minneapolis Fed.
Now, bank A’s reserves are a liability on the books of the Richmond Fed, while bank B’s reserves are a liability on the books of the Minneapolis Fed. Without any offsetting change, therefore, the process would result in the Richmond Fed discharging a liability and the Minneapolis Fed gaining a liability – and if this continued, regional Fed assets and liabilities could become highly mismatched.
The principle, then, is that there should be an offsetting swap of assets. It would be too complicated to swap actual assets every time there is a flow of reserves between banks in different districts. (There’s over $3 trillion in transactions every day on Fedwire, the Fed’s RTGS system – and if even a fraction of those are between different districts, the amounts are really enormous.) Instead, in the short run the regional Feds swap accounting entries in an “Interdistrict Settlement Account” (ISA). In the example above, the Minneapolis Fed’s ISA position would increase by $1000, while the Richmond Fed’s ISA position would decrease by $1000, to offset the transfer of liabilities.
So far, this is all very similar to the controversial TARGET2 system in the Euro area, in which large balances between national banks have recently been accumulating. The American system is different, however, because ISA entries are eventually settled via transfers of assets. Every April, the average ISA balance for each regional Fed over the past year is calculated, and this portion of the balance is settled via a transfer of assets in the System Open Market Account (the main pile of Fed assets, run by the New York Fed). Hence, if in April the Minneapolis Fed has an ISA balance of +$500, but over the past year it had an average balance of +$2000, its balance is decreased (by $2000) to -$1500, and it has an offsetting gain of $2000 in SOMA assets.
As this example shows, since it is average balances over the past year that are settled, not the current balances, ISA balances do not necessarily go to zero every April. Historically, they were fairly tiny anyway, but since QE brought dramatic increases in reserves, these balances have sometimes been large and irregular. In the long run, though, the system prevents any persistent imbalances from accumulating.
(Note: the process in April is a little bit more complicated than I describe, since some minor transfers of gold certificate holdings are also involved. Basically, gold certificates are transferred between regional Feds to maintain a constant ratio of gold certificates to federal reserve notes; the transfers of SOMA assets are adjusted to account for this. Wolman’s recent piece for the Richmond Fed is one of the few sources that describes the system in detail.)
EAC Payment and Settlement Systems Integration Project (EAC-PSSIP)
The East African Community Secretariat has received financing from the African Development Fund (ADF) toward the cost of the establishment of EAC Payment and Settlement Systems Integration Project (EAC- PSSIP) and intends to apply part of the agreed amount for this grant to payments under the contract for Audit Services for the EAC Payment and Settlement Systems Integration Project (EAC-PSSIP).
The EAC-PSSIP is an integral part of the EAC Financial Sector Development and Regionalisation Project’s (FSDRP) higher objective of broadening and deepening the financial sector and is aimed at complementing the integration of the regional financial market infrastructure to facilitate the undertaking of cross border funds transfer in support of the economies of the region as a whole. The project objective is to contribute to the modernization, harmonization and regional integration of payment and settlement systems.
The project specifically aims at: enhancing convergence and regional integration of payment and settlement systems; and strengthening a harmonized legislative and regulatory financial sector capacity in the Partner States. The Project is structured under the following components: Component 1: Integration of Financial Market Infrastructure; Component 2: Harmonization of Financial Laws and Regulations; and Component 3: Capacity Building.
The project commenced its operation in January, 2014 and it was officially launched in March, 2014.
Towards A Single Currency
The latest development is the 2013 Monetary Union protocol, which sets out the terms for the introduction of a single currency by 2024. The IMF has stated that greater integration is “expected to help sustain strong economic growth and improve economic efficiency. A larger regional market will lead to economies of scale, lower transaction costs, increased competition, and greater attractiveness as a destination for FDI.” The first step towards this goal has already been taken. In May 2014 the East African Payment System (EAPS) was launched. The new system will facilitate real-time cross-border payments between member states. Initially, the EAPS was operational between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, linking the Tanzania Interbank Settlement System, the Kenya Electronic Payment and Settlement System, and the Uganda National Interbank Settlement. Lucy Kinunda, director of national payment systems at the Tanzanian central bank, told the local press, “We see the enthusiasm among commercial banks and traders building up as it facilitates intra-regional trade by reducing costs and risks in money transfers across border.”
While there is much expectation for the single currency and the political and economic integration it will bring, the main challenge will be the process of macroeconomic convergence. There has been substantial variation in inflation and economic growth rates within the EAC. For Kenya, there will also be a challenge in meeting the macroeconomic criteria laid out in the Monetary Union Protocol. In the decade to the end of 2013, Kenya only achieved the inflation target of below 8% in 2010 and 2013. The country fares better on the ratio of public debt to GDP, maintaining a ratio below the target level of 50% every year between 2008 and 2013. The member states have almost a decade to meet the convergence criteria.
SADC – Southern African Development Community – uses RAND as settlement Currency
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) aims to achieve economic development, peace and security, alleviate poverty, and enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa through regional integration. Current status In order to achieve the above objective, a comprehensive development and implementation framework – the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) – was formulated in 2001 guiding the regional integration over a period of fi fteen years (2005-2020). The RISDFP outlines key integration milestones in fi ve areas: free trade area, customs union, common market, monetary union and single currency. The free trade area was achieved in August 2008, meaning that for 85% of intra-regional trade there is zero duty. The second milestone, to establish a customs union, has been postponed, with a new target date of sometime in 2013. Although the ultimate goal of monetary union with a single currency is several years away, the SADC Payment System integration project is already in motion. This has strategic objectives to: harmonise legal and regulatory frameworks to facilitate regional clearing and settlement arrangements; implement an integrated regional cross-border payment settlement infrastructure; and establish a co-operative oversight arrangement based on the harmonised regulatory framework. The first phase of the cross-border payment settlement infrastructure (SIRESS) went live for the Common Monetary Area countries that use the South African rand (South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland) in July 2013. The new system allows the settlement of payment transactions in a central location using rand as the common settlement currency. Next steps – towards an Economic Union If successful, the new system will be rolled out to the rest of the SADC Member States as the region advances towards its eventual establishment as an economic union. In parallel, the immediate next step is the establishment of the SADC customs union, which presents a number of challenges; the major one is the establishment of a single Common External Tariff, which requires convergence of all individual tariff policies into a single and uniform tariff regime.
The first stage of the Sadc Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System (SIRESS), being the first go-live involving countries in the Common Monetary Area (CMA) namely Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, was initiated in July 2013. Phase Two involved Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe going live in April 2014 followed by Mauritius and Zambia which went live in September 2014 under Phase Three. Since the launch of Siress, 43% of payments in the Sadc region are now executed through the system, which settles payments in South African rand. By April 2015 Siress had reached the ZAR1 trillion (US$85,1 billion) settlement mark. This phenomenal growth of Siress is emblematic of the growing importance and influence of regional payment systems in general, the rationale of which is the subject of this article.
As of 2015, 9 out of the 15 countries have joined the RTGS system.
ECOWAS – West Africa Monetary Zone (WAMZ)
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)’ Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP) provided the blueprint for the economic integration of the countries of West Africa. Amongst other measures, the EMCP called for the creation of a single monetary zone in the sub-regions known as the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ). The WAMZ was created in April 2000 with the goal to establish an economic and monetary union of the member countries. In 2001, WAMZ created the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) to undertake preparatory activities for the establishment of the West African Central Bank (WACB), and the launching of a monetary union for the Zone. The WAMZ programme aims to increase trade among the ECOWAS/WAMZ member countries, reduce transaction costs for the users of payment systems, domesticate cross-border transactions within the WAMZ through the use of a single currency, develop safe, secure and effi cient payment systems that conform to global standards and build a payment system that will facilitate monetary policy management for the WACB.
Ahead of the establishment of the WACB, having a modernised, safe and stable financial infrastructure in place is a prerequisite to introduce a monetary union successfully. To this effect, a grant of about USD 30 million from African Development Bank Fund was approved for the WAMZ Payments System Development Project, which aims to improve the basic infrastructure of the fi nancial sector through upgrade of the payment systems of our countries – The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Lone and Liberia. The system components of the project include Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system, Automated Clearing House (ACH) / Automated Cheque Processing (ACP) systems, Central Securities Depository (CSD) / Scripless Securities Settlement (SSS) systems, Core Banking Application (CBA) system and infrastructure upgrade (telecommunication and energy). The Gambia’s high-value payment system went live in July 2012 and Sierra Leone is currently going through the implementation. The target date of the project completion in all four countries is June 2014.
COMESA – Common Market for East and Southern Africa
The COMESA launched the COMESA Customs Union in 2009 and the COMESA Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS) to facilitate crossborder payment and settlement between Central Banks in the COMESA region. The new system provides a single gateway for Central Banks within the region to effect payment and settlement of trades.
ECOWAS – WAEMU/UEMOA – West African Economic and Monetary Union
created as a single monetary zone is the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) / Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA). The WAEMU was established to promote economic integration among member countries and a common market that share West African francs (CFA francs) as a common currency, monetary policies, and French as an official language. It is a trade zone agreement to encourage internal development, improve trade, establish uniform tariffs for goods, establish a regional stock exchange and a regional banking system.
The UEMOA/WAEMU has successfully implemented macro-economic convergence criteria and an effective surveillance mechanism; adopted a customs union and common external tariff; and combined indirect taxation regulations, in addition to initiating regional structural and sectoral policies. Uniquely amongst Africa’s regionalisation projects, UEMOA/WAEMU has a single central bank, Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO), which governs all of the fi nancial institutions across the Union. As part of the project for modernisation of the payment and financial infrastructure, the BCEAO launched a regional Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system in 2004 and the regional Automated Clearing House (ACH) system in 2008.
The SIP is a novel framework in the Americas, with several elements that dis- tinguish it from other cross-border arrangements: it involves participants in various countries, allows for payment flows in all directions among participants, uses an RTGS concept for its ‘hub’ and interlinks exclusively central bank RTGS systems, not ACHs, and uses a foreign currency for its settlement accounts.
There may certainly be some doubts as to whether the degree of existing commercial integration among the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic will suffice to make SIP a commercially viable proposition.
But one can see the SIP as part of a wider initiative which seeks to develop the financial infrastructure with a view to furthering a regional financial market. The SIP will be an integral part of the local payment systems of CMCA member countries and, as such, will widen the coverage of available services to the benefit of participants of the national payment systems. Furthermore, the SIP could act as a direct stimulus for those banks that operate in only one of the member countries to offer affordable cross-border payment services to its clients and thus assist in the strengthening of regional financial integration.
Asia – South East Asia – ASEAN 5
Payment issues: Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi (second right), accompanied by Artajasa president director Arya Damar (right), inspects a booth during the Integrated Payment System seminar in Jakarta on Wednesday. The seminar aimed at informing business players about the integrated payment system ahead of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. (Antara/Prasetyo Utomo)
Bank Indonesia (BI) is currently developing tools to create a more time-efficient and low-cost payment system ahead of the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, when there will be a free flow of goods, services and people among ASEAN member countries.
‘We are working to develop a more integrated national payment system before having an integrated payment system within the ASEAN region,’ BI payment system executive director Rosmaya Hadi said at a seminar held by electronic payment service provider PT Artajasa Pembayaran Elektronik on Wednesday.
With the new system, the Indonesian banking industry will have a new real-time gross settlement system (RTGS) in which bank customers can carry out multi currency transactions on a real-time basis, she said.
‘With this system, a bank customer can carry out multicurrency transactions in only minutes through non-cash payments,’ she said, adding that BI would launch the new system this year.
Rosmaya also said the Indonesian central bank and its counterparts in five ASEAN members, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, had agreed to prepare for an integrated payment system.
‘Central banks of the ASEAN 5 have formed task forces on trade settlements, retail payments, monthly remittances, capital market settlements and standardization to formulate a set of regulations and schemes with which we will have an ASEAN integrated payment system,’ she said.
Under the regional integrated payment system, people in ASEAN will be able to make financial transactions through ATMs, credit cards or electronic money without sacrificing much time and money.
According to a report by the ASEAN Working Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (WC-PSS), the integrated payment system will reduce bank charges (such as foreign exchange spread among ASEAN currencies and handling fees), and encourage regulated non-bank remittance service providers to adopt international/common standards in retail payment systems.
Of all the ASEAN member countries, only Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand currently have full ATM interoperability, according to an Asian Development Bank Institute report published in 2013.
‘When the AEC commences, ASEAN member countries will have greater need for an integrated payment system as people from across the region will have to carry out transactions from and to their home countries,’ said Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi at a similar event.
The AEC, also known as the ASEAN single market, will commence at the end of 2015. Under the AEC, the ASEAN 5 and Brunei Darussalam will have free trade agreements, while Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam will fully participate in the community in 2018.
Artajasa president director Arya Damar said that Indonesia should also develop its banking sector to tap its large market by utilizing more cashless transactions, otherwise other ASEAN countries’ banks would do so.
Citing BI data, Artajasa said that with a total of 800,000 local branches, commercial banks in Indonesia could reach only 20 percent of the total working-age population of around 150 million people.
‘Meanwhile, with only 15,000 ATMs, Malaysian commercial banks can reach 66 percent of its total working-age population,’ he said.
Thai commercial banks, with around 66,000 ATMs, can reach about 30 percent of Of Thailand’s total working-age population, he added. (koi)
SINGAPORE – The five largest members of ASEAN – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand – have agreed to implement an integrated payment system to enable real time gross settlement (RTGS) systems to be in effect by next year.
“With this system, a bank customer can carry out multi-currency transactions in minutes through non-cash payments,” said Rosmaya Hadi with Bank Indonesia.
The ASEAN 5 Central Banks are currently working on establishing protocols for intra-trade settlement, retail payments, monthly remittances, capital market settlements and standardization to enable the system to be up and running by the time the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) unification occurs next January.
“When the AEC commences, ASEAN member countries will have greater need for an integrated payment system as people from across the region will have to carry out transactions from and to their home countries,” according to Deputy Trade Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi.
Under the system, individual users across ASEAN will be able to make financial payments through ATMs, credit cards, or electronic money without spending a significant amount of time or money doing so. As ASEAN currently has no plan to establish a unified currency, this program is expected to increase multi-currency transactions.
ASEAN members are also developing their ATM networks; Indonesia, for example, has an ATM reach of 20 percent of its total working population of 150 million, compared with 66 per cent for Malaysia.
Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are currently the only ASEAN members to have full ATM integration according to the Asian Development Bank. This will soon change as the other ASEAN member nations work towards greater integration.
Indonesia, Thailand, Phillipines, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam in 2015
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to join in 2018
ASEAN +3 Cross Border Infrastructure
In Delhi in May 2013, the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Japan, and the Republic of Korea—collectively known as ASEAN+3—agreed to set up a Cross-Border Settlement Infrastructure Forum (CSIF) to discuss detailed work plans and related processes for the improvement of cross-border settlement in the region, which included the possibility of establishing a regional settlement intermediary (RSI). Members, observers, and the CSIF Secretariat are listed in Appendix 1.
Based on the intensive discussions among CSIF members, the first report, Basic Principles on Establishing a Regional Settlement Intermediary and Next Steps Forward, was published by the Asian Development Bank in May 2014 after being endorsed by the ASEAN+3 finance ministers and Central Bank governors at their 17th meeting held in May 2014 in Astana. The members agreed that the central securities depository (CSD)–real-time gross settlement (RTGS) linkages, which connect national CSD systems and RTGS systems in a flexible
way, would be an achievable model for cross-border settlement infrastructure in the short term and medium term. This model linking existing infrastructure enables local bonds to be settled in delivery versus payment (DVP) via central bank money, which ensures the safety of settlement and is compliant with international standards, as well as being cost- efficient. As such, the CSD–RTGS linkages are to be studied as the most feasible model for implementing the RSI in ASEAN+3.
The Joint Statement of the 17th ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting reads as follows:
We welcomed the recommendations submitted by the Cross-Border Settlement Infrastructure Forum (CSIF) and the direction of developing the implementation roadmap of CSD-RTGS linkages as short-term and medium-term goals and integrated solution as a long-term goal for making it possible to deliver securities smoothly and safely versus payment across borders. We are of the view that this is a practical and efficient approach to advance regional settlement infrastructure that promotes cross-border securities transactions in the region.
The 4th and 5th CSIF meetings were held in Hong Kong, China (September 2014) and Manila (January 2015), respectively. Specific topics to develop an implementation plan for the CSD–RTGS linkages—such as a desktop study, possible road map—were discussed at these meetings. As an initial step, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) agreed to conduct a desktop study.
Regional Integration in South Asia: BIMSTEC, SAARC, SAPTA, SAFTA
January 1, 2016, marked the tenth anniversary of the South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta). The agreement, which was reached in January 2004 at the 12th Saarc Summit in Islamabad, Pakistan, came into force on January 1, 2006, and became operational after the agreement was ratified by seven nations (Afghanistan, the eighth member, ratified it in May 2011).
It created a free trade area for the people of eight South Asian nations and aimed at reducing custom duties of all traded goods to zero by 2016. That year is here but the South Asian nations see trade among them making up a meagre five per cent of their total transactions.
The purpose of Safta was to promote common contract among the member-nations and provide them with equitable benefits. It also aimed at increasing the level of cooperation in economy and trade among the Saarc nations by lowering the tariff and barriers and give special preference to the least developed countries in the Saarc region.
Safta had a potential
At a time when regional trade blocs and free trade area have emerged as models of cooperative economic growth, the Safta had offered a great opportunity to take forward the process of South Asian integration.
But South Asia has too much problems
But South Asia is a unique regional entity in the entire world. It is a region which has remained a prisoner of the past and pressing geopolitical realities involving India, Pakistan and China.
Thanks to the relentless rivalry between India and Pakistan and the latter’s proximity to the Chinese who have included the strategy of containing India in its scheme of things in South Asia, the idea of integration of South Asia in other forms have remained elusive.
Other smaller countries like Nepal, Bengladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka, too, have played the China card against India time and again, hurting the prospects of mutual confidence.
In such an atmosphere of suspicion, achieving what the Safta had envisioned a decade back has been next to impossible. Despite a free trade pact since 2006, trade among South Asian nations makes up five percent of their total trade. They share few transport and power connections between them.
We saw how Saarc fell apart at its 2014 summit
We saw how the Saarc was split during the 18th summit held in Kathmandu in 2014 end when India and Nepal accused Pakistan of creating an obstacle on the way of regional integration by refusing to sign three multilateral agreements, including road trade and sharing of electricity.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi even went to the extent of warning at that time, saying the integration would happen through the Saarc or without it.
He found backing in the Nepali ranks. India then went ahead with ties (visa, energy, road) with other neighbours like Nepal and Bangladesh and also promised to cut its trade surplus with the South Asian nations. But in all, Modi expressed displeasure that the progress was too slow.
Despite the presence of instruments like Safta and Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation), South Asia has only languished. The state of affairs in connectivity, financial infrastructure including banking and mobility of people and goods have remained stuck in the complex cobweb of customs, visa and transit norms.
India, too, is responsible for the poor state of affairs
India, being the largest nation in South Asia, has been equally guilty by not attaching much significance to the forum in the past, as it did in nurturing relation with the West and Russia. There has been a sheer lack of continuity in the country’s successive governments’ priorities towards South Asia.
For most, a combative policy towards Pakistan and dominating approach towards the smaller neighbours have been the most-after stand. No wonder, opportunities like Safta were lost without a trace.
Can Narendra Modi govt turn the tables around?
However, the Narendra Modi regime has attached much importance to the issue of South Asian integration which is a silver lining. The way India’s PM invited all South Asian heads of states or representatives to his swearing-in ceremony or kicked off his foreign tours with visits to small states like Bhutan and Nepal or suddenly landed in Lahore to reach out to his Pakistani counterpart-all these suggest that his government aspires to see a better surroundings.
Yes, there have been a serious goof-up by India’s foreign-policy makers in Nepal in the wake of its ratifying a new constitution, which has left the Himalayan neighbour distraught, but yet going by PM Modi’s general intent of improving the state of South Asian cooperation, the decade-old Safta could still have a future.
As of now, the wait will be for the 19th Saarc summit in Islamabad later this year.