The International Banking Research Network (IBRN) brings together central bank researchers from around the world to analyze issues pertaining to global banks. With co-leadership by Linda Goldberg and Claudia Buch, the IBRN was established in 2012 by Austrian, German, U.S., and U.K. researchers who saw a need for joint analysis of key questions, such as the role of cross-border banking in the transmission of financial shocks. The group has expanded to include economists and analysts from a broad group of central banks, as well as the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Since the initiative launched, IBRN participants have completed joint research studies on the transmission of liquidity shocks through global banks and the spillovers of prudential policies across borders. A third network-wide initiative on the transmission of monetary policy is under way. The research finds outlets in broader policy forums, working papers, and economic journals. In addition, the network organizes regular workshops and conferences, and the infrastructure that has been established through the network is increasingly used also for regular policy work.
A common underlying theme of research conducted in the IBRN is the use of micro-level data to better understand the consequences of global banking. The financial crisis has revealed the urgent need to better understand the determinants and consequences of cross-border banking as a source of systemic risk. It has also shown that using aggregated or bilateral country-by-country data is not sufficient. Rather, micro data are needed that shed light on the cross-border linkages of individual banks and at intrabank, cross-border banking structures. Many key policy questions such as the response of banks to country-specific, macroprudential policies like countercyclical capital buffers and the resolution of banks operating on a cross-border basis require such information.
Yet research on these issues often cannot answer many of the policy-relevant questions for various reasons: bilateral banking data provided by the BIS do not allow studying bank heterogeneity; commercial bank-level data lack important information on cross-border activities of banks (it is detail available only to regulators); existing bank-level data sets collected by regulatory authorities cannot be merged to allow for a joint analysis of different banking systems. Hence, heterogeneity across banks from different jurisdictions cannot be studied.
Overcoming these obstacles is important for research and policy. Within the IBRN, country teams work on the same topic in parallel, bringing their distinct, bank-level data sets to bear on the development of comparable cross-country evidence. Although underlying regulatory data cannot be made public, the results of the common analysis can be shared to inform policy dialogue.
The IBRN aims to:
- improve policy discussion and analytical work by using bank-level data collected in regulatory reporting
- investigate the causes, channels, and consequences of transmission mechanisms through internationally active banks
- explore the sources of heterogeneity in adjustment across banks and across countries
- encourage international collaboration and dialogue
- contribute to evidence-based policymaking and a structured evaluation of policy measures.