Loans to offshore centres surge

Cross-border loans to offshore banking centres hit a record high in the fourth quarter of 2017, as part of a broader surge in global banking activity, data from the Bank for International Settlements shows.

Borrowing by entities in these jurisdictions rose by 3% in 2016 and by more than 7% in 2017. Total claims reached $4.6 trillion by the end of 2017, surpassing their previous peak, recorded just before the global financial crisis.

Hong Kong saw the largest increase ($63 billion), followed by

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