Swap rates and economic conditions
The swap market has grown rapidly in recent years, driven by several factors. Prominent among them has been the increased demand for protection against interest rate risk. Heightened interest rate volatility has caused bank customers to try new techniques for matching the interest rate exposures of their assets and liabilities. Also, increased competition has stimulated innovation. Worldwide deregulation in the banking industry has increased the competition banks face on both the asset and liability side of their balance sheets, at home and abroad. Competition has been further stimulated by technological advances in telecommunications and computer systems that have increased international financial mobility. As a result, banks have tried to find new ways of generating income, while borrowers have sought lower borrowing costs and protection from interest rate risk.