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Statistical Press Release - International banking statistics on a consolidated basis – 4th quarter of 2018

Today, Banco de Portugal publishes statistics in Table A.24 of the Statistical Bulletin and in BPstat on international consolidated banking statistics for the fourth quarter of 2018.

These statistics examine the international exposure to risk of banks having their head office in Portugal from two different perspectives: (i) immediate risk basis — exposure to the countries of residence of agents that have directly signed an agreement with the bank and are immediately responsible before it; and (ii) ultimate risk basis — exposure to the countries of residence of the agents that guarantee compliance with the agreement instead of the entity that signed it, reflecting the fact that a third party ultimately guarantees compliance.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, foreign claims of Portuguese banks, on an immediate risk basis, stood at €76.3 billion, i.e. €0.8 billion more than at the end of 2017.

On an ultimate risk basis, at the end of 2018, Portuguese banks held foreign claims to the amount of €77.9 billion, around 71% of which in the European Union. Compared with the previous year, this corresponded to a €0.6 billion increase.

The difference between the two risk bases (€1.6 billion) corresponds to a net risk transfer between Portugal and the rest of the world. Given that foreign claims, on an ultimate risk basis, are higher than those on an immediate risk basis, this means that some bank claims on Portuguese entities are ultimately guaranteed by non-resident entities (Chart 1).

Exposure to ultimate risk vis-à-vis European Union Member States and the BRICS continued to exceed that to immediate risk (Chart 2).

Conversely, with regard to Portuguese-speaking African countries, Portuguese banks’ exposure was higher to immediate risk than to ultimate risk: part of their claims on entities residing in the Portuguese-speaking African countries was guaranteed by entities residing in other countries (Chart 2).

Next update: 8 Jul. 2019