Analysis of the characteristics and structure of a network of financial institutions can provide insight into the complex relationships and interdependencies that exist in a payment, clearing, and settlement system (PCSS), and allow an intuitive understanding of the PCSS's efficiency, stability, and resiliency.
June 11, 2009 This article examines the incentives for banks to hold various assets on their balance sheets for use as collateral when the opportunity cost of doing so can be high. Focusing on the five-year period (2002-07) that preceded the financial crisis, it examines the choices made by financial institutions among the assets that are pledged as collateral in Canada's Large Value Transfer System. This serves as a baseline for collateral-management practices during relatively normal times. The results of this study are important for policy-makers, especially the Bank of Canada, which is concerned both about the efficient functioning of fixed-income markets and about the credit risk it ultimately bears in insuring LVTS settlement. The results suggest that relative market liquidity and market-making capacity are important factors in the choice of securities pledged as collateral in the LVTS.