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Exposure of international banks to Latin America

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In the context of a reduction in global cross-border funds, this report explores the recent evolution of international banks’ exposures to Latin America using BIS statistics. Latin America is one of the few regions in the world where the exposure of international banks continued to increase as result of the strong presence of international banks with local operations.


In the aftermath of the financial crisis there was a reduction in global cross-border flows. In this context it is important to track their evolution and bank’s international exposures in order to identify regions or countries potentially more vulnerable to a reduction or withdraw of this funding. Latina America is one of the few regions in the world where the exposure of international banks continued to increase as result of the strong presence of international banks with local operations and a greater stability in cross-border funding to the region.

This report explores the recent evolution of international banks’ exposures to Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) using BIS locational and consolidated statistics. Locational statistics capture cross-border flows from foreign countries while consolidated statistics measure not only cross-border flows but also the exposures of international banks with local direct presence in the region, in a consolidated perspective, i.e., eliminating intra-group positions. The analysis has some shortcomings as it is not possible to adjust for exchange rate fluctuations in all series and the individual exposure of certain countries, such as China, Russia or Canada is not available. Nevertheless it is a good starting point to monitor these exposures.

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