Liquidity and credit are not always best friends — Funding for Lending in the UK and the LTROs spring to mind. However, blaming liquidity alone for the lack of credit out there is obviously [expletives removed].
For one, banks can’t lend if they can’t find borrowers — although it might be unfair to blame borrowers who are seeing unappealing terms — and for two, central banks have poured a fair amount of liquidity out there with more available on tap.
Breaking: deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has hit soundbite pay dirt.
In Tuesday’s FT he is quoted as saying that the Funding for Lending Scheme, whereby financial institutions get cheap loans from the Bank of England to boost credit to the wider economy, should be “put on steroids”.
The verdict is still out as to how much the Bank of England’s latest attempt to boost the economy is actually working. There are indications that Funding for Lending is helping ease credit flows, but we won’t know how attractive the low-cost financing actually is to banks until the FLS usage data for Q3 is released on December 3. It’s hoped that it will get up to £80bn of extra credit into the economy.
The scheme was launched this summer, and on Tuesday the BoE published a full list of participating banks along with their total lending to UK households and ‘private non-financial corporations’ (as of end of June). A total of 17 new institutions have got onboard since the launch, mostly building societies, but the Co-Op, Clydesdale and Tesco were also new joiners. HSBC is not on the list. Read more
Lending to UK households picked in September, driven mainly by a sharp rise in unsecured lending, according Bank of England data out on Monday.
Total lending to individuals (excluding student loans) rose by £1.7 billion in September, compared to the previous six-month average increase of £0.6 billion. The twelve-month growth rate was 0.7% (Table A). Read more
Figures from the BBA on Tuesday generally confirmed what we already knew: July’s £100bn Funding for Lending scheme, which was supposed to reduce the real cost of borrowing in return for the banks getting even cheaper access to cash, is simply failing to get through.
To summarise my assessment of markets at this point I would no longer say that they are healing. Rather, markets are scarring over – adapting and evolving to the new environment.
That’s from the BoE’s Paul Fisher’s speech to Richmond University. It’s worth a read. Read more
The minutes of the Bank of England’s last MPC meeting reveal that some members were like hmmm concerning more asset purchases. In BBC headline-speak, that’s “Bank of England MPC members hint at further QE stimulus”. In the actual minutes, it went a bit like this:
For some members the decision was nevertheless more finely balanced, since a good case could be made at this meeting for more asset purchases. Read more
The U.K. economy has been flat for nearly two years. This stagnation has left output per capita a staggering 14 percent below its precrisis trend and 6 percent below its pre-crisis level. Weak growth has kept unemployment high at 8.1 percent, with youth unemployment an alarming 22 percent.
The effects of a persistently weak economy and high long-term unemployment can reverberate through a country’s economy long into the future—commonly referred to by economists as hysteresis. Read more
Aka: an attempt to fill in the missing pieces of the underpants gnomes’ collateral swap, details of which were revealed last week.
First a reminder of how this will work, from Claire Jones over at Money Supply: Read more
How can banks make wise credit intermediation decisions when they don’t know the people or businesses to whom they are lending?
Better understanding of clients, not less, is what helps to improve banking. Read more
The market continues to chew over last week’s surprise announcement by the Bank of England and the Treasury about a collaborative funding initiative for UK banks under their joint auspices.
Under the initiative the Treasury will back a “funding for lending” programme, which is intended to reduce borrowing costs to those banks that engage in lending, while the Bank of England breathes life into a previously announced Extended Collateral Term Repo (ECTR), a cross between a UK LTRO equivalent and a credit easing programme. Read more