International Lending Continues Its Decline

Widespread fall in cross-border credit hits advanced economies as well

by Jon Sindreu
Wall St Journal Blogs

Lending across international borders kept nosediving in the final quarter of last year, fresh data from the Bank for International Settlements showed Thursday, a testament of the hardships that weaker economic growth in emerging markets and stricter banking regulations have imposed on global finance.

Cross-border banking activity has been in decline since early 2015, but it was mostly concentrated in lower interbank activity and a drop in lending to emerging-market economies, which have been struggling with low commodities prices. But the final quarter of the year saw a widespread decline of cross-border lending across regions—including developed economies—sectors and currencies.

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