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What is Shadow Banking?

Author/Editor: Stijn Claessens | Lev Ratnovski
Authorized for Distribution: February 11, 2014
Electronic Access: Free Full Text (PDF file size is 376KB)
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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate.

Summary: There is much confusion about what shadow banking is. Some equate it with securitization, others with non-traditional bank activities, and yet others with non-bank lending. Regardless, most think of shadow banking as activities that can create systemic risk. This paper proposes to describe shadow banking as “all financial activities, except traditional banking, which require a private or public backstop to operate”. Backstops can come in the form of franchise value of a bank or insurance company, or in the form of a government guarantee. The need for a backstop is in our view a crucial feature of shadow banking, which distinguishes it from the “usual” intermediated capital market activities, such as custodians, hedge funds, leasing companies, etc.
Order a print copy
Series: Working Paper No. 14/25
Subject(s): Banking | Capital markets | Bank regulations | Bank supervision | Shadow economy
    Published:   February 11, 2014        
    ISBN/ISSN:   9781475597349/1018-5941   Format:   Paper
    Stock No:   WPIEA2014025   Pages:   9
    Price:   US$18.00
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