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Financial institutions: On the funding back foot

A fundamental change to the terms of banks’ financing is likely.

To a certain extent, banks have always been about borrowing short-term and lending long but it is a matter of balance. Issuing longer-term debt and ensuring ample liquidity should be a high priority in the changed environment.

“You can see the fear in their eyes. There is a big lesson to be learnt here. I think a lot of financial institutions realize that, regardless of their assets, the mismatches of where they fund and what they own is bad and needs to change,” says a head of debt capital markets.

Has the failure of the interbank market created a new funding paradigm?

“It is not simply the drying up of the ABCP market which has done so much to drain markets of liquidity. The knock-on effect into ABS has been significant,” says Alan Patterson, head of capital management advisory at Citi. “To some extent this is also a question of restoring confidence in inter-bank liquidity – and I’m thinking in particular of the FRN market, which is nothing but longer-term interbank financing. Sooner or later bank treasurers will have to bite whatever bullet it is they have to bite and pay the market rate for term liquidity,”

According to Patterson, capital is not concerning people on the whole.

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