Monetary Policy and Global Banking

by Falk Bräuning and Victoria Ivashina

Overview — Global banks commonly move funds across markets to respond to differential monetary policy changes. This paper finds that cross-currency flows affect the cost of foreign exchange hedging, ultimately affecting credit supply in different currencies. The traditional view of how global banks respond to local shocks is weakened and, for major currencies, breaks down.

Author Abstract

Global banks use their global balance sheets to respond to local monetary policy. However, sources and uses of funds are often denominated in different currencies. This leads to a foreign exchange (FX) exposure that banks need to hedge. If cross-currency flows are large, the hedging cost increases, diminishing the return on lending in foreign currency. We show that, in response to domestic monetary policy easing, global banks increase their foreign reserves in currency areas with the highest interest rate while decreasing lending in these markets. We also find an increase in FX hedging activity and its rising cost, as manifested in violations of covered interest rate parity.

Paper Information

  • Full Working Paper Text
  • Working Paper Publication Date: March 2017
  • HBS Working Paper Number: NBER Working Paper Series, No. 23316
  • Faculty Unit(s): Finance