The Importance of Non-bank Financial Intermediaries in the Global Financial System

2 min readDec 7, 2022

Non-bank financial intermediaries, also known as NBFIs, play a vital role in the global financial system. NBFIs are financial institutions that provide financial services and products, such as loans, mortgages, and insurance, but do not have a banking license. This means that they are not subject to the same regulations and oversight as traditional banks.

NBFIs are important for the global financial system for several reasons. First, they help to provide access to financial services for individuals and businesses that may not be able to obtain them from traditional banks. This can include small businesses, low-income individuals, and underserved communities.

Second, NBFIs can offer a wider range of financial products and services than traditional banks. For example, some NBFIs specialize in providing loans for small businesses, while others focus on providing insurance or investment products. This can help to meet the diverse needs of consumers and businesses.

Third, NBFIs can provide competition to traditional banks, which can drive down the cost of financial services and improve the quality of products and services offered. This can benefit consumers and businesses by providing more choices and better options for managing their finances.

Despite the many benefits of NBFIs, they are not without risks. NBFIs are not subject to the same level of regulation and oversight as traditional banks, which can make them more vulnerable to financial instability. In addition, some NBFIs may be more risky than traditional banks, and can pose a potential threat to the broader financial system if they fail.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the total assets of NBFIs worldwide have grown significantly in recent years, from $28 trillion in 2010 to $60 trillion in 2018. This represents an increase of over 100% in just eight years. This growth has been driven by a number of factors, including the expansion of the global economy, the rise of digital finance, and the increasing demand for financial services from emerging markets.

Despite the risks associated with NBFIs, they remain an important part of the global financial system, and play a crucial role in providing access to financial services and products for individuals and businesses. As the global economy continues to evolve and the demand for financial services grows, it is important to ensure that NBFIs are regulated and supervised in a way that promotes stability and protects consumers




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