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Banking Systems Most Exposed to PIIGS Nations

Nations Most Exposed to the PIIGS
The European sovereign debt crisis continues to rattle global markets as uncertainty over austerity measures and a proposed bailout have people questioning whether the Eurozone will be able to survive more financial trauma. At the center of concerns are the "PIIGS" nations - Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain - heavily indebted countries in danger of default that could trigger an economic domino effect around the globe. In an April 2010 report, the Swiss-based (BIS), a clearinghouse for
Photo: Milos Bicanski| AFP | Getty Images

The European sovereign debt crisis continues to rattle global markets as uncertainty over austerity measures and a proposed bailout have people questioning whether the Eurozone will be able to survive more financial trauma.

At the center of concerns are the "PIIGS" nations - Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain - heavily indebted countries in danger of default that could trigger an economic domino effect around the globe.

In a June 2011 report, the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS), a clearinghouse for world’s central banks - reviewed central bank data and reveals the countries that are the most exposed to European turmoil, specifically in their banking systems.

The numbers presented here take into account foreign claims - investments in the form of loans and bonds that have arisen from PIIGS nations – that are held by international banks headquartered outside the individual countries. If a government defaults on debt, it could carry catastrophic consequences for the country's economy, with the potential to seriously devalue - or potentially wipe out - these assets.

For the context of this report, CNBC.com compared the dollar-value exposure of countries to the total value of assets held by the country's banks for an approximate percentage of total direct exposure. The exposure numbers only include data from international banks, and do not account for insurance companies or other financial firms.

So, which countries are most exposed to the PIIGS? Click ahead for a country-by-country breakdown.

By Paul Toscano
Updated 21 June 2011

Notes: Countries are listed in order of exposure, but are not presented in rank order as the BIS does not provide a completely comprehensive list of countries. The numbers also do not include any insurance taken out against these market bets.

Assets in BIS data include only those held by international commercial banks headquartered in various countries. When banking sector information is taken from the EU, it includes domestic banking groups and stand-alone banks, all institutions, total assets [full sample], outstanding amounts at the end of the period (stocks), all currencies combined.

Ireland
Level of Financial System Asset Exposure: 1.5% Total PIIGS Exposure: $31.7 billion Size of Financial System: $2.05 trillion Portugal: $2.7 billion Ireland: N/A Italy: $13.2 billion Greece: $835 million Spain: $14.9 billion
Source: Bank of International Settlements, European Central Bank | Photo: Dennis Flaherty | Photographer's Choice RF | Getty Images

Level of domestic bank exposure: 1.5 percent

Total PIIGS exposure: $31.7 billion
Total bank assets: $2.05 trillion

Direct Financial System PIIGS Exposure*
Portugal: $2.7 billion
Ireland: N/A
Italy: $13.2 billion
Greece: $835 million
Spain: $14.9 billion

* Figures are rounded

Switzerland
Level of domestic bank exposure: 2.08% Total PIIGS exposure: $56.4 billion Total bank assets: $2.71 trillion Portugal: $2.9 billion Ireland: $14.3 billion Italy: $18.3 billion Greece: $2.9 billion Spain: $18.1 billion *Figures are rounded
Source: Bank of International Settlements, Swiss National Bank, Zurcher Kantonalbank | Photo:  Sylvain Grandadam | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Level of domestic bank exposure: 2.08 percent 

Total PIIGS exposure: $56.4 billion
Total bank assets: $2.71 trillion

Direct Banking Sector PIIGS Exposure*
Portugal: $2.9 billion
Ireland: $14.3 billion
Italy: $18.3 billion
Greece: $2.9 billion
Spain: $18.1 billion

*Figures are rounded

Spain
Level of domestic bank exposure: 2.54%Total PIIGS exposure: $126.8 billion Total bank assets: $4.99 trillion Portugal: $84.6 billion Ireland: $10 billion Italy: $31.2 billion Greece: $974 million Spain: N/A
Source: Bank of International Settlements, European Central Bank | Photo: Travelpix Ltd | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Level of domestic bank exposure: 2.54 percent

Total PIIGS exposure: $126.8 billion
Total bank assets: $4.99 trillion

Direct Banking Sector PIIGS Exposure*
Portugal: $84.6 billion
Ireland: $10 billion
Italy: $31.2 billion
Greece: $974 million
Spain: N/A

*Figures are rounded

Austria
Level of Banking Sector Asset Exposure: 2.57% Total PIIGS exposure: $36.8 billion Size of Financial Sector: $1.43 trillion Portugal: $1.6 billion Ireland: $2.9 billion Italy: $22.2 billion Greece: $3.4 billion Spain: $6.7 billion
Source: Bank of International Settlements, European Central Bank | Photo: Karl Thomas | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Level of Banking Sector Asset Exposure: 2.57 percent 

Total PIIGS exposure: $36.8 billion
Size of Financial Sector: $1.43 trillion

Direct Banking Sector PIIGS Exposure*
Portugal: $1.6 billion
Ireland: $2.9 billion
Italy: $22.2 billion
Greece: $3.4 billion
Spain: $6.7 billion

*Figures are rounded

Netherlands
Level of domestic bank exposure: 4.61% Total PIIGS exposure: $150.5 billion Total bank assets: $3.26 trillion Portugal: $6.5 billion Ireland: $16.7 billion Italy: $45.3 billion Greece: $5.0 billionSpain: $76.9 billion
Source: Bank of International Settlements, European Central Bank | Photo: Allan Baxter | The Image Bank | Getty Images

Level of domestic bank exposure: 4.61 percent 

Total PIIGS exposure: $150.5 billion
Total bank assets: $3.26 trillion

Direct Banking Sector PIIGS Exposure*
Portugal: $6.5 billion
Ireland: $16.7 billion
Italy: $45.3 billion
Greece: $5.0 billion
Spain: $76.9 billion

*Figures are rounded

Germany
Level of domestic bank exposure: 4.63% Total PIIGS exposure: $532.73 billion Size of Financial Sector: $11.49 trillion Portugal: $36.4 billion Ireland: $118.1 billion Italy: $162.3 billion Greece: $33.9 billion Spain: $181.9 billion
Source: Bank of International Settlements, European Central Bank | Photo: Getty Images

Level of domestic bank exposure: 4.63 percent 

Total PIIGS exposure: $532.73 billion
Size of Financial Sector: $11.49 trillion

Direct Banking Sector PIIGS Exposure*
Portugal: $36.4 billion
Ireland: $118.1 billion
Italy: $162.3 billion
Greece: $33.9 billion
Spain: $181.9 billion

*Figures are rounded

Belgium
Level of Banking Sector Asset Exposure: 5.03% Total PIIGS exposure: $78.2 billion Size of Financial Sector: $1.55 trillion Portugal: $3.5 billion Ireland: $25.4 billion Italy: $25.8 billion Greece: $1.9 billion Spain: $21.5 billion
Source: Bank of International Settlements, European Central Bank | Photo: M G Therin Weise | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Level of Banking Sector Asset Exposure: 5.03 percent 

Total PIIGS exposure: $78.2 billion
Size of Financial Sector: $1.55 trillion

Direct Banking Sector PIIGS Exposure*
Portugal: $3.5 billion
Ireland: $25.4 billion
Italy: $25.8 billion
Greece: $1.9 billion
Spain: $21.5 billion

*Figures are rounded

Portugal
Level of domestic bank exposure: 5.50% Total PIIGS exposure: $45.2 billion Total bank assets: $820.55 billion Portugal: N/A Ireland: $5.15 billion Italy: $3.02 billion Greece: $10.3 billion Spain: $26.7 billion
Source: Bank of International Settlements, European Central Bank | Photo: Davis McCardle | The Image Bank | Getty Images

Level of domestic bank exposure: 5.50 percent 

Total PIIGS exposure: $45.2 billion
Total bank assets: $820.55 billion

Direct Banking Sector PIIGS Exposure*
Portugal: N/A
Ireland: $5.15 billion
Italy: $3.02 billion
Greece: $10.3 billion
Spain: $26.7 billion

*Figures are rounded

France
Level of domestic bank exposure: 5.75% Total PIIGS exposure: $646.5 billion Total bank assets: $7.81 trillion Portugal: $26.9 billion Ireland: $29.6 billion Italy: $392.6 billion Greece: $56.7 billion Spain: $140.6 billion
Source: Bank of International Settlements, European Central Bank | Photo: Martial Colomb | Photographer's Choice RF | Getty Images

Level of domestic bank exposure: 5.75 percent

Total PIIGS exposure: $646.5 billion
Total bank assets: $7.81 trillion

Direct Banking Sector PIIGS Exposure*
Portugal: $26.9 billion
Ireland: $29.6 billion
Italy: $392.6 billion
Greece: $56.7 billion
Spain: $140.6 billion

*Figures are rounded

United Kingdom
Level of domestic bank exposure: 5.81% Total PIIGS exposure: $347.2 billion Total bank assets: $5.98 trillion Portugal: $24.4 billion Ireland: $135.2 billion Italy: $66.4 billion Greece: $14.1 billion Spain: $107.2 billion
Source: Bank of International Settlements, European Central Bank | Photo: Dominic Burke | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Level of domestic bank exposure: 5.81 percent 

Total PIIGS exposure: $347.2 billion
Total bank assets: $5.98 trillion

Direct Banking Sector PIIGS Exposure*
Portugal: $24.4 billion
Ireland: $135.2 billion
Italy: $66.4 billion
Greece: $14.1 billion
Spain: $107.2 billion

*Figures are rounded