The shadow banking sector continued its solid growth in 2016, led by investment funds, which highlights the need for reforms to deal with risks stemming from the asset-management sector, according to a new report from the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published on Monday.
Specifically, shadow banking grew by 7.6% in 2016 to $45.2 trillion (all figures in U.S. dollars) in the 29 jurisdictions covered in the FSB’s report, which looks at trends and risks in global shadow banking activities. Overall, this represents 13% of total financial system assets in these countries, the report says.
Collective investment vehicles, such as open-ended fixed-income funds, credit hedge funds and money market funds, now account for 72% of the sector, the FSB’s report says, noting that these vehicles grew by 11% in 2016.
The strong growth in these vehicles over the past several years “has been accompanied by a relatively high degree of investment in credit products and some liquidity and maturity transformation,” the report says, adding that this highlights the importance of adopting the FSB’s recommendations for addressing structural vulnerabilities from asset management that were released in January 2017.
The FSB’s report also finds that broker-dealers’ shadow banking assets declined by 3% during the year and account for 8% of overall assets: “Broker-dealers in some jurisdictions employ significant leverage, although it is lower than the levels prior to the 2007-09 global financial crisis.”
The report notes that shadow banking activities by finance companies also dropped by almost 4% in 2016 to 6% of overall shadow assets.
“Market-based finance provides increasingly critical alternatives to bank lending in the financing of economic growth, and it is vital that resilience of the sector is maintained as it continues to evolve,” says Mark Carney, chairman of the FSB and governor of the Bank of England, in a statement. “A close understanding of emerging risks helps guide our judgement on appropriate policy responses, such as the FSB’s 2017 recommendations to address structural vulnerabilities from asset management activities which will be operationalized this year.”
“Given the evolving nature of shadow banking into new forms and across borders, the FSB continues to work on further improvements to data availability and risk analysis so that new sources of systemic risk can be identified in a forward-looking manner,” adds Klaas Knot, chairman of the FSB standing committee and president of De Nederlandsche Bank.