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UK gilt crisis flags liquidity-driven investment risks

Friday, December 16, 2022

Significance

The Bank of England (BoE) judged this a material risk to financial stability and stabilised the market by buying gilts. This prevented wider crisis but the gilt market spike has had substantial implications for pension funds' balance sheets, and has sparked a parliamentary inquiry into the events.

Impacts

  • A greater focus on liquidity will hinder pension funds’ ability to invest in long-term illiquid assets.
  • The losses that UK pension funds experienced mean that they may now be underhedged against a fall in interest rates.
  • Similar financial dynamics may occur in other sectors or nations where sharp asset price moves can destabilise derivative and repo markets.

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