- Interest rate: The interest rate indicates the price that a borrower (be it an individual, a firm or a public entity) will have to pay over a given period of time in order to have an amount of money at their disposal. There are a multitude of interest rates in the economy for public debt, public entity loans, interbank markets, etc. For example, the European Central Bank (ECB) establishes its intervention interest rate in public tenders with banks to set its monetary policy guidelines. Loans between bank entities (interbank market) for different maturities are other significant interest rates. The most well-known of these interbank interest rates is the one-year-Euribor (Euro Interbank Offered Rate), the interest that financial entities charge to lend money to another bank for the period of one year. For the interbank market there are other maturities, for example, the Eonia is an equivalent rate for a day.
- Banking system: According to Spain's current legislation, a credit entity is any firm whose habitual activity is receiving funds from clients in the form of deposits, loans, temporary transfers of financial assets, and other forms which imply the obligation of their refund, and then invests these funds in their own account in the form of loans or similar operations. There are also firms different from those mentioned above, which emit electronic means of payment.
The Ivie has various research areas on banking systems in Spain, as well as on an international scale. Among the aspects analysed are the efficiency of banking entities, the link between globalization and the financial system, the level of competition and financial development, and their impact on economic growth.
- Financial integration: The ECB defines a financial market as being fully integrated when it is subject to a single set of rules, has access to the same instruments and financial services, and all participants are treated equally when they operate in the market, regardless of their country of origin. In recent years, European financial markets have undergone intense changes such as the implementation of the First and Second Banking Directive, the introduction of the Euro, and the measures included in the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) by the European Commission. In the broadest sense, these measures aim to increase the level of financial markets integration in Europe. The intention being that, by means of integration, competition will increase in markets and efficiency will improve in the financial intermediation process. These objectives set out to strengthen the key role of financial intermediaries in the economy, which is to favour the efficient connection between savings and investment in a way which fosters economic growth. The Ivie has developed a system of indicators which allows the advance of financial markets in Europe to be valuated, with an analysis of Spain's financial system in a European context. The Observatory of Financial Integration in Europe has constructed a system of integration, competition and efficiency indicators to valuate the advance of financial integration in Europe. The latest results in the research area on integration have analyzed the Spanish banking sector in an international context, its recent evolution and future challenges.
- Efficiency of the banking sector: Banking efficiency is the capacity that entities have to obtain the highest level of production given a certain level of productive factors. In other words, to reduce the level of essential costs to achieve a certain level of production.
The Ivie's research in this area quantifies the efficiency of the banking sector by using different techniques (parametric and non-parametric).