May 2022: SUERF Policy Brief – The local presence of global banks

By Iñaki Aldasoro, John Caparusso, and Yingyuan Chen

Global banks establish their international presence through host-country networks of subsidiaries and branches. These entities’ roles and behaviour are illuminated by their balance sheet positions, but these have not been systematically captured across countries. This brief introduces an attempt to redress that gap with initial findings from system- and entity-level balance sheets across two dozen jurisdictions. Subsidiaries, focused on domestic currency and retail business, appear to be ceding share, while branches, more tailored for flexible international cash management, are maintaining presence. But branches’ positions are more volatile than subsidiaries’, raising concerns for host supervisors. Evidence from the new data suggests host authorities in advanced economies have successfully constrained branch behaviour, but those in emerging economies have not.

Link: The local presence of global banks