Key Terms Explained

  • Banking Crisis

    Banks are susceptible to a range of risks. These include credit risk (loans and others assets turn bad and ceasing to perform), liquidity risk (withdrawals exceed the available funds), and interest rate risk (rising interest rates reduce the value of bonds held by the bank, and force the bank to pay relatively more on its deposits than it receives on its loans).
  • Banking Competition

    The global financial crisis reignited the interest of policy makers and academics in bank competition and the role of the state in competition policies (that is, policies and laws that affect the extent to which banks compete). Some believe that increases in competition and financial innovation in markets such as subprime lending contributed to the financial turmoil. Others worry that the crisis and government support of the largest banks increased banking concentration, reducing competition and access to finance, and potentially contributing to future instability as a result of moral hazard problems associated with too-big-to-fail institutions.
  • Credit Bureau

    A credit bureau is one of the two main types of credit reporting institutions. It collects information from a wide variety of financial and nonfinancial entities, including microfinance institutions and credit card companies, and provides comprehensive consumer credit information with value-added services such as credit scores to private lenders.
  • Credit Registry

    A credit registry is one of the two main types of credit reporting institutions. Credit registries generally developed to support the state’s role as a supervisor of financial institutions. Where credit registries exist, loans above a certain amount must, by law, be registered in the national credit registry. In some cases, credit registries have relatively high thresholds for loans that are included in their databases. Credit registries tend to monitor loans made by regulated financial institutions.
  • Financial Access

    The topic of access to finance and financial inclusion has been of growing interest throughout the world, particularly in emerging and developing economies. Policymakers are increasingly concerned that the benefits produced by financial intermediation and markets are not being spread widely enough throughout the population and across economic sectors, with potential negative impacts on growth, income distribution and poverty levels, among others. Furthermore, they may also be concerned with the potential negative consequences for macro stability when financial system assets are concentrated in relatively few individuals, firms, or sectors.
  • Financial Depth

    Financial depth captures the financial sector relative to the economy. It is the size of banks, other financial institutions, and financial markets in a country, taken together and compared to a measure of economic output.
  • Financial Development

    Financial sector is the set of institutions, instruments, markets, as well as the legal and regulatory framework that permit transactions to be made by extending credit. Fundamentally, financial sector development is about overcoming “costs” incurred in the financial system. This process of reducing the costs of acquiring information, enforcing contracts, and making transactions resulted in the emergence of financial contracts, markets, and intermediaries. Different types and combinations of information, enforcement, and transaction costs in conjunction with different legal, regulatory, and tax systems have motivated distinct financial contracts, markets, and intermediaries across countries and throughout history.
  • Financial Stability

    There are numerous definitions of financial stability. Most of them have in common that financial stability is about the absence of system-wide episodes in which the financial system fails to function (crises). It is also about resilience of financial systems to stress.
  • Long-Term Finance

    Long-term finance comprises all types of financing (including loans, bonds, leasing, and public and private equity) with a maturity exceeding one year. Maturity refers to the length of time between origination of a financial claim (loan, bond, or other financial instrument) and the final payment date, at which point the remaining principal and interest are due to be paid. Equity, which has no final repayment date of a principal, can be seen as an instrument with nonfinite maturity.
  • Nonbanking Financial Institution

    Anonbank financial institution (NBFI) is a financial institution that does not have a full banking license and cannot accept deposits from the public. However, NBFIs do facilitate alternative financial services, such as investment (both collective and individual), risk pooling, financial consulting, brokering, money transmission, and check cashing. NBFIs are a source of consumer credit (along with licensed banks).