"Shadow banking is both a boon and a bane for countries, and to reap its benefits, policymakers should minimise the risks it poses to the overall financial system," said the IMF in its latest Global Financial Stability Report, agency reported.
As one of the major contributors to the financial turmoil six years ago, shadow banking accounted for at least a third of total systemic risk similar to that of banks in US right now, said the report. In the euro area and UK, shadow banking's contribution to systemic risk is much smaller relative to the risks arising from their banking system as regular banks still dominate their financial systems, according to the report.
The IMF said the degree of shadow banking oversight and regulation should depend on how much it contributes to systemic risk, which requires supervisory authorities and statistical agencies to provide much more detailed data.
It stressed that international regulatory cooperation is also crucial to prevent migration of high risk activities from countries with tight rules to others with laxer rules. According to the report, shadow banking amounts to between USD15 trillion and USD 25 trillion in US, between USD 13.5 and USD 22.5 trillion in the euro area, and between USD 2.5 and USD 6 trillion in Japan, depending on the measure.
Shadow banks act similarly to regular banks by taking money from investors and lending it to borrowers, but are not governed by the same rules or supervised. Shadow banks can include financial institutions such as money market mutual funds, hedge funds, finance companies, and broker/dealers, among others.
In emerging markets, for instance, shadow banking business has reached about USD 7 trillion and the growth is outpacing that of the traditional banking system, said the report.