Top banks’ US Treasury holdings up 26% in 2019

Fair value gains follow plummeting yields on government paper

The fair value of US Treasury securities held by the eight systemically important US banks topped $867 billion at end-2019, up +26% on the prior year and by a whopping +76% on five years ago.

Of the total, 44% were held as available-for-sale (AFS), 40% held-for-trading (HFT) and 11% were held-to-maturity (HTM). The remaining 5% were held as collateral for in-the-money derivatives exposures. Year-on-year, AFS Treasuries climbed the most, by +29% to $383.8 billion.

In contrast, five years ago

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